Theme Of Honour And Loyalty In Julius Caesar

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The concepts of honour and loyalty were regarded by the Romans with paramount respect, reverence and admiration. Crucial to Roman culture, along with common values of honesty, virtue and righteousness, these ideals shaped the lives of many Romans, as depicted by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar.

Shakespeare alludes to the Roman ideal of an honourable death, continually referring to Brutus’ and the conspirators’ interpretation of honour and loyalty through vivid and striking imagery.Brutus makes this abundantly evident as early as Act 1 Scene 2, when he exclaims that with “honour in one eye and death i’ the other”, he would “look on both indifferently”. By mentioning honour at such an early stage, Shakespeare instills the importance of such themes
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Through figurative language and by comparing Caesar to a “girl” through use of a metaphorical statement, Shakespeare exposes Caesar’s supposed. lack of honour, delineating Caesar’s negative qualities of cowardice and a fundamental absence of integrity. Cassius later stresses these attributes, using them as a foundation for convincing Brutus. Labelling Caesar’s lips in such a way both highlights Caesar’s supposed timidity and uncovers key Roman attitudes towards women (whom they considered feeble and frail). Following such antipathetic opinions against Caesar, Shakespeare demonstrates how Cassius deems Caesar unfit for the “new honours that are heap’d on [him]”, utterly doubting his ability to rule, envisaging the deleterious repercussions that would follow. Brutus, on the on the other hand is obviously “at war” “with himself” and he makes this evident as he concedes that his “passions” are “of some difference”, signifying his uncertainty about whether “[his] love to Caesar” was more important than his “[loyalty] to Rome”. Shakespeare emphasises Brutus’ anxiety when he expresses his “fear” that “the people / Choose Caesar for their king”. Consequently, Shakespeare manages to demonstrate Caesar’s ambitious traits, which were considered so dishonourable by the conspirators that he deserved “death” for Conversely, Anthony depicts Caesar as both a noble, virtuous and honourable man, making use of dramatic devices and an extraordinary rhetoric throughout his eulogy. Made readily apparent to the audience by Anthony’s repetition of the phrase “Brutus is an honourable man” as a refrain. Obviously, Anthony’s tone becomes increasingly sarcastic and ironic as his eulogy progresses, providing additional oratory effect for both the benefit of the audience and

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