Friendship In Julius Caesar's De Amicitia

Good Essays
“De Amicitia” (on friendship) was a dialogue written by a stoic philosopher known as Cicero during Julius Caesar’s most successful time as an emperor around 45 B.C. The dialogue focused on what Cicero felt aside from wisdom was the “[best thing that has ever] been given to man by the immortal gods.” Throughout the dialogue there are signs of contradiction about the friendship Cicero discusses. Normally friendship is not seen as a way of mutual profit but to Cicero this was one of the main reasons to befriend certain men. In the dialogue he expresses his views on friendship by using Scipio and Laelius’ friendship. Cicero conceived friendship as a high-order relationship that was more meaningful and intense than any other relationship. …show more content…
Cicero urges that people put friendship before everything else, but this is where the contradiction in his words and thoughts lie. If friendship was said to be the greatest gift given aside from wisdom, then why did men only befriend those who benefit him? By befriending someone who subsidizes the friend, money, wealth, power and status is being put before friendship. Greed seems to be the common theme in each view on what a friendship should be. Although Cicero has good intentions in this dialogue, there are …show more content…
Being an optimates, or in the ruling classes, automatically gives an upper hand compared to the power held by the populares. The strength in numbers is what gave the populares any power at all, seeing as they were just the average man. The only real reason an optimates would befriend a man of the populares is so that they do not have a reason to revolt against the optimates. As the years kept adding on, more and more homeless people emerged in Rome; a gap was opening between the people, which made it harder to keep control of leadership and government. Soldiers became hard to come by and class tensions broke down social

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    “Julius Caesar” is a truly fascinating book full of action, adventure, and some of the most recognized sayings in the English language. Although it has these things, I will be focusing on how the friendships affect the outcome of the book. The friendships portrayed in "Julius Caesar" bring great depth and complexity to the plan of the book.…

    • 317 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Aristotle and Friendship

    • 566 Words
    • 3 Pages

    According to Aristotle, there are three kinds of friendship based on three kinds of love that unite people. Aristotle defines friendship through the word, philia. Philia is the emotional bond between human beings which provides the basis for all forms of social organizations, common effort, and personal relationships between people. The three kinds of friendship Aristotle explains are utility, pleasure, and complete friendship.…

    • 566 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    African American

    • 618 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Friendship is a virtue or at least involves virtue. Friendship is always a special thing but people tend to forget about how much its value is. Friendship is not just necessary, but also noble.Friendship consists of goodwill between two people. You can only have a few friends being that its take some precious time to build a real friendship. Aristotle’s speaks about how there are three kinds of friendship. The first is friends of utility, where both people receive some benefit from each other. Aristotle believed that this is the type of friendship that is for the old. Aristotle argued that they “are at such a time of life pursue not what is pleasant but what is beneficial.” The second is friends of pleasure, where both people are attracted to each other, good looks, or other their pleasant qualities all together . aristotles says this friendship is for the young. Aristotle argues that the young because “...quickly become friends and quickly stop...” and “...love and stop loving quickly...” The third is friends of excellence, where both people admire the other’s excellence and help one another strive for excellence. Aristotle says this about friends of excellence “...complete sort of friendship between people who are good and alike in virtue...”friends of virtue or excellence is hard to come by especially in the world we live in today because it is so much individualism. According to Aristotle the first two friendships are accidental, because in these case friends are only thinking about their own utility and pleasure, not are going to change over a period of time. If a friendship is based on excellence it will be a long lasting relationship, because excellence is a quality. This kind of friendship is the one everyone wants to have and it overlooks the other two friendships. This kind of friendship though is hard to find and takes a lot of time to progress but it is worth it. It is nothing like having a real and true friend. Friends who want the same thing will…

    • 618 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    Thunder, David. "Friendship in Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics." 1996. Notre Dame University. 27 Apr. 2008 http://www.nd.edu/~dthunder/Articles/Article4.html…

    • 1841 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Faux Friendship

    • 1316 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In his article, William Deresiewicz describes how society views friendship has changed from the way it was perceived in earlier times. He utilizes known relationships between Achillies and Patroclus, Nisus and Euryalus, and Damon and Pythias to support his thoughts on friendship during earlier times. Each of them protected their friends and refused to live without them. Each demonstrated a bond of trust and loyalty to their friend. Achillies seeked out revenge to honor his friend Patroculus, who died wearing Achillies armor in battle as a tribute to their friendship. Nisus and Euryalus were an inseparable pair that served under Aeneas in the Aeneid. The bond of loyalty, devotion, and sacrifice between these two men was shared through many of their experiences. It is one particular obstacle that stands out between dear friends. In this…

    • 1316 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    When friendships are dissolved, the consequences can be devastating. In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics - VIII – IX he explains how humans learn from one another, and that humans are innately social animals (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics - VIII – IX, 148-149). Friendships are required in life learn about values. Without friends, humans would not be able to learn such values from each other, nor will they be able to confide in each other. Having friends in life allow for the mutual growth of both parties. Rebecca Traister writes in her article “What Women Find in Friends That They May Not Get from Love” her experiences with her friend Sara. Traister says, “In each other, we found respite, recognition, a shared eagerness to relax, take stock and talk about it all.” (Sara Traister, “What Women Find in Friends That They May Not Get from Love, 1), going on to say this relationship was mutual where they benefited from each other’s company. As they both grew together over time, much like Aristotle suggests is the value of friendship. Humans life are not fulfilled unless friends are there to support each other. As Traister says, “For many women, friends are our primary partner through life” (Sara Traister, “What Women Find in Friends That They May Not Get from Love, 5). In Traister’s case, the friendship she shares with Sara is a friendship of virtue.…

    • 1192 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Plato vs. Aristotle

    • 2421 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Numerous experts in modern time regard Plato as the first genuine political philosopher and Aristotle as the first political scientist. They were both great thinkers in regards to, in part with Socrates, being the foundation of the great western philosophers. Plato and Aristotle each had ideas in how to proceed with improving the society in which they were part of during their existence. It is necessary therefore to analyze their different theoretical approaches regarding their philosophical perspectives, such as ethics and psychology. This paper however will mainly concentrate on Aristotle's views on friendship and how it impacts today's society.…

    • 2421 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Citizenship

    • 858 Words
    • 4 Pages

    (R) According to the passage, traditional view of friendship is “not merely private: they are public, even political,for a civic order”.…

    • 858 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Aristotle on Friendship

    • 624 Words
    • 3 Pages

    had all of the other good things in life. He also describes friendship as a…

    • 624 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Loyalty in Julius caesar

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages

    minds as they would a five year old. The mob, like a great many people,…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Enthrals In Julius Caesar

    • 591 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Julius Caesar enthrals me because it explores intense human desires for friendship and emotions of love, thus resonating with audiences including myself, by projecting timeless values. Shakespeare play Julius Caesar is timeless because they touch on themes such as love, friendship and vengeance these genres will never die no matter how long they live. This fact is infallible that’s why this play has proven the test of time. Its character Brutus eventually running down the trajectory of betrayal something that we see in our modern society.…

    • 591 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jealousy In Julius Caesar

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages

    A mental cancer, a jaundice of the soul that instills negative thoughts, fear, and insecurity: jealousy. For Caius Cassius and Julius Caesar, life-long friends, this emotion destroys everything in its path. As Cassius’ character unfolds in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, jealousy fuels Cassius to manipulate others to achieve his goals, resulting in chaos and eventually death.…

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jealousy In Julius Caesar

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The character Cassius in the tragedy of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare constantly reflects palpable jealousy. In Act I Scene II, Cassius claims “I was born free as Caesar; so were you:/We both have fed as well, and we both/Endure the winter’s cold as well as he…”(Shakespeare, lines 5-7); and feels king Caesar does not deserve superiority over him. In this scene, Cassius is pointing out to Brutus that he and Cassius deserve the power to lead Rome more than Caesar. In order to prove these points, Cassius shares three stories with Brutus in his speech: one of when he and Caesar had a swimming contest; another when he saw Caesar sickly and frail after a fever; and lastly one where Caesar again is portrayed as a weak and sickly man. In the monologue by Cassius directed at Brutus, Cassius uses paradox, self-heroic word choice and similes throughout three separate stories to give examples of Caesar’s weaknesses. Cassius’ main goal becomes to portray Caesar as any other man; and to rationalize killing the king to gain power for (what he…

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    JULIUS CAESAR outline

    • 613 Words
    • 3 Pages

    1.- A Friend is worth nothing because you can make friends every day, what is worthed is their loyalty. Julius Caesars reveals the importance of having a good friendship, which lerns after his death.…

    • 613 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Loyalty and betrayal are central ideas in this play. Explore how Shakespeare illustrates these themes.…

    • 695 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays