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Midterm Research Paper 2018.docx

Midterm Research Paper 2018.docx - Shayna Frances Page 1 H...

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Shayna Frances Page 1 H. Thayer English 12 SCALE period 6 01/17/18 A person’s pride can often cloud their judgement and lead them to misfortune. This idea is highlighted in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar . The play touches on the internal conflict one has between what is right and wrong. The people of Rome are concerned about Julius Caesar becoming emperor of Rome. They fear putting power in one set of hands when Rome has been a republic for so long. Characters like Cassius, Brutus, and of course Caesar make decisions based on what they believe to be the right thing. Both Brutus and Cassius have to figure out if Caesar’s murder is the right thing to do. They base their final decision on the actions displayed by Caesar himself. Numerous times in the play the audience witnesses Caesar’s apparent need to be seen as strong and powerful. Caesar guides his decision making based on how he wishes to be regarded by the people of Rome. As a result, his decisions cost him greatly. Thus, this can be perceived as his tragic flaw. This weakness of his leads to his demise by allowing the conspirators to see his behavior as one of a tyrant. “Caesar repeatedly dismisses warnings and pleas from other characters such as the Soothsayer and Artemidorous…” (Julius Caesar 1). In the play, Caesar says: “But I am constant as the Northern Star of whose true fixed and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament” (3.1.66-68). “But, Caesar, as “constant as the northern star, of whose true-fix’d and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament” (3.1.58-60), cares little about the prophecies of mortal men” (Julius Caesar). Therefore, Caesar’s assassination can be argued as justifiable based on his ambition and pride. Caesar allows himself to become overly confident in his abilities and his reputation. He
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Page 2 becomes desensitized to anyone else’s regard except that of his own. Caesar believes that any sign of weakness he may show could very well lead to his undoing. “From the very first scene, Julius Caesar is powerfully present, even though he does not enter the stage before the second scene. The way the other characters speak about him is as important for his overall portrait as his personal appearances” (On Julius Caesar). The Plebians seem to speak of Caesar as someone so high above them; a God. “Whenever he appears in person he seems more anxious to create an impression of superhuman stature and commanding presence than to allow any of us any revealing insight into his real thoughts and emotions” (On Julius Caesar). This plays into his tragic flaw. Caesar regards himself as one who is high above mere mortals. He is larger than life. He believes this will be the only way to gain the respect of the people of Rome. Cassius says: “Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow word like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves” (1.2.142-145). However, Shakespeare proves this to be false. He shows the audience that Caesar is not a God, he’s just a man.
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