Essay #1: Julius Caesar


“Julius Caesar” may be regarded as a personal tragedy or a political tragedy. Discuss and explain.


Julius Caesar, the play, is a political tragedy. It is a political tragedy set around personal tragedy for Caesar. The personal tragedy occurs in the name of politics.


Politics are put together and practiced by men. This play is an examination of why they behave the way they do in the name of politics. It looks at group mentality and why good citizens become part of the act of murder. In the name of politics what drives them to commit murder. A friend justifies killing a friend for political reasons.


There were two main personal tragedies. They were when Brutus turned against Caesar, and when Caesar was killed by the conspirators. All the personal tragedies were Caesar’s tragedies. Just after Brutus stabbed Caesar, Caesar was shocked that, a loyal companion, turned against him in the conspiracy and helped kill him. “Et tu, Brute?” is Latin for “and even you, Brutus,” shows how shocked Caesar was when Brutus stabbed him, and those were his final dying words.


After the death of Caesar, Brutus spoke at the funeral, persuading the crowd that it was necessary for Caesar to die. Brutus kept saying that Caesar was ambitious and for that he had to die. “…As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him. But, as he was ambitious, I slew him…” After Brutus finished his speech Antony spoke. The crowd was already in favor of Brutus and did not want Antony to speak. Antony starts by saying Brutus said Caesar was ambitious, “…I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambitious? Yes Brutus says, he was ambitious, and sure he is an honorable man…” Antony easily persuades the crowd and at the end of his speech the crowd took off looking for the conspirators to kill them.


Antony and Octavius fight against Brutus and Cassius. Cassius kills him self. When Brutus knows their army won’t win, Brutus kills himself because he would never let himself be captured. Brutus killing himself ends the battle and Antony and Octavius praise him saying he was “ the noblest Roman of them all.”


Overall the play is more of a political tragedy then a personal tragedy. But if there were not any personal tragedies there would not have been many political tragedies. Because Caesar was killed, the battle between Antony and Octavius against Brutus and Cassius arose. The play suddenly ended when Brutus killed himself with Antony and Octavius praising him.