Julius Caesar An Expository


Throughout the play, Julius Caesar, opinions over important matters clash. Brutus and Cassius, both senators of Rome, have two completely different ways of looking at matters. Brutus, an idealist, has a more naïve way of looking at things. He tends to see only the good in a person. Cassius, on the other hand, is a realist. He sees what is really there. Cassius is the lead conspirator in the play, showing that he is all for self advance. Brutus is the only one who isn’t plotting to kill Caesar for selfish purposes. Brutus has the good of Rome in mind, not himself. Brutus and Cassius’s characters come out vividly in three separate arguments they have in the play. The first major argument they have is about killing Marc Antony, a close friend of Julius Caesar. Brutus doesn’t and Cassius does. The second major argument the have is after the death of Julius Caesar. Brutus wants Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral but Cassius disagrees. The last argument they have proves to be fatal to both Brutus and Cassius. They dispute over battle tactics at Sardis, the Plains of Philippi. Shakespeare was wonderful at showing the high and low points of two different people, Brutus and Cassius.


The first major argument that occurs in this play happens when the conspirators are deciding whether or not to kill Marc Antony. Antony is a very close friend of Julius Caesar. One could say he was riding his coattails. Cassius sees Antony as a threat to their purpose, and of course, wants him gone because he is only after his own advancement. Cassius also knows that if Julius Caesar is killed, Antony will avenge his death by any means possible. Antony has Caesar’s army pretty much in his power, and could give the combined troops of Brutus and Cassius a run for their money. He knows that Antony is power hungry. In Cassius’s mind, Antony will use any leverage he can get to gain power. He has already ridden the coattails of Caesar to get to the stage he is presently at, and that he will use Caesar’s death to overthrow the conspirators and move higher up into power. Since Cassius is a realist, he sees people for what they are, not for what they appear to be. He sees Antony as an opportunist and very intelligent. He knows that Antony covers up his intelligence by being a reveler, or a playboy. Cassius believes Antony should be killed; just to be sure there are no complications after the murder of Julius Caesar. Brutus completely disagrees with Cassius. Brutus can’t see past the façade Antony puts up. He thinks that Antony is an unintelligent reveler. Brutus thinks Antony won’t do anything about Caesar’s death, that he will accept it, as the whole of Rome would, after being explained. Brutus also doesn’t want the episode to look like a bloodbath. He doesn’t want to unnecessarily kill anyone. He wants the death of Julius Caesar to be thought of as a ‘purging’ rather than a murder. After all, Brutus thinks he is saving Rome of a dictator. He would kill Antony also if he thought he had any power to rise up against the conspirators. Brutus also thinks that if Antony is so attached to Caesar and is so hurt by his loss, that he will commit suicide to be with him. In my opinion, Brutus is a little too naïve. He is blind to the fact that Antony is hiding being the mask of a playboy. Cassius seems to know and understand Antony better. He sees right through the façade. In a case so sensitive as this, I would side with Cassius to be safe. To side with Brutus would be like diving into a pool, not knowing how deep it is. Brutus’s judgment is tainted. He can’t seem to find bad in anyone. Cassius would be safer to side with because he won’t take any chances where his life and his power are concerned. Cassius ends up letting Brutus have his way. He does this because it is vital that Brutus is a part of the conspiracy. The group needs him for his speaking abilities as well as his credibility with the masses. None