Conflicting Perspectives Julius Caesar

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Augustus Pages: 6 (2407 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Conflicting perspectives are the direct result of bias or self-interest as people are always quick to enforce the correctness of their perspective over those of others, by contrasting their perspectives with others, they seek to advantage their own point of view opposed to the viewpoints of others. Conflicting perspectives are caused by bias, or prejudice, and self-interest from a person, event or situation that is encountered. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Philadelphia (1993), written by Ron Nyswaner and directed by Jonathan Demme, are both prime examples of when bias and self-interest lead to conflicting perspectives in society. More than anything else, conflicting perspectives are the immediate result of bias or self-interest as the emplify the rise of self in society. In Shakespeare’s drama, bias and self-interest, more than anything else, are the key elements of the conflicting perspectives fabricated in the play. Shakepeare unites the epic legedary stories of nationalism in the history of Julius Caesar to the lyrical stage craft of the theatre. The drama provides a visual realism of the fortitude of men; it highlights the self-acting individual and their ability to supersede values of patriotism and nationalism when self-interest becomes apparent. A key example of this is the character Brutus. The characterisation of Brutus changes throughout the play. So the audience is left with the conflicting perspective of who Brutus is; they are only left with the representation of who he is, only to work out for themselves who the true Brutus is. At the beginning of the play, the audience is shown a character who is noble, good, patriotic, honourable but most of all, proud of Rome. He is also depicted to be loyal. “Brutus has rather be a villager than to repute himself a son of Rome.” This quote from Act 1 scence 2, shows the inital view of Brutus at the start of the play; it portrays him as noble and loyal to Rome. This becomes a motif throughout the play and leads to Brutus’ moral dilemma over the assassination of Caeasr. Brutus’ inner conflict is driven by self-interest and bias. It is bias as he is influenced by an outside factor, Rome. It is self interest as he is trying to promote himself within society to take Caesar’s position. In Act 2 scene1, Brutus is in turmoil and unable to sleep. “Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar i have not slept..” This depicts to the audience Brutus’ conflict remaining in himself; he loves Caesar the man, but is against Caesar the ruler. “I do fear the people choose Caesar for their king... I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well.” The hyperphora in “But wherefore do you hold me here so long? What is it that you would impart me” shows Brutus’ struggle with his heart and his head. However, Brutus’ struggle in the end is overrided by Brutu’s ambition and self-interest to be king. “Ambition’s debt is paid...” becomes irony as the conspirators killed Caesar as his ambitions to be king led him to become corrupt and towards the end of the play, Brutus too lets his ambition for power become dangerous; he was a true foil of Caesar. The irony of Brutus becoming a mirror image of Caesar is apparent as he morally denounces Caesar, his old friend. The repetition of epithets throughout the play, “noble Brutus, gentle Brutus”, became dramatic irony as the audience knew Brutus’ to be all but noble and gentle.Throughout Shakespeare’s drama, Brutus was driven be bias and self-interest as “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more...” Shakespeare portrays the audience with such a conflicting perspective of Brutus as he wanted them to be able to connect with his character. He is representing the dichotomy that is present within each individual as events, situations and people influence their morals and judgement. Shakespeare wished to display that even good men can become corrupt and that ambition for power can be dangerous. It could be seen that Shakespeare is trying to...
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