William Shakespeare 's Julius Caesar Essay

1663 Words Nov 29th, 2016 7 Pages
William Shakespeare is a master writer who addresses sensitive and controversial subjects in his work. In his plays Julius Caesar and Hamlet, he touches on timeless social issues such as suicide. Shakespeare tackles suicide and the weight it carries with different individuals within different cultures. Julius Caesar depicts suicide through Brutus and Cassius, the leading conspirators in the murder of Julius Caesar. Taking place in Rome when honor, valor, and triumph were the most important values; Brutus, Cassius, and other Romans considered suicide an honorable way to die. However, Hamlet, which takes place in more conservative late medieval Denmark, where suicide is frowned upon and even, deemed a sin. Hamlet, like Julius Caesar, is also a gruesome story of death and deceit; however, the discussion of an afterlife and God is more prevalent and therefore Hamlet and others from his time do not consider suicide to be an honorable option unlike, the early Romans. Shakespeare achieves through these suicide scenes a historical representation of culture and the values that define life and life’s worth.
Hamlet, Ophelia, Brutus, and Cassius all contemplate suicide in these two plays, but for different reasons. Ghosts visited both Hamlet and Brutus, but for different purposes. Brutus saw the ghost of Caesar after he planned and executed Caesar’s murder, which triggers guilt and confusion for Brutus, while Hamlet saw his father, which caused a desire for revenge and anger. These…

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