Octavius or Julius?
Julius Caesar was a very powerful figure during Roman times, and in Shakespeare’s portrayal of the Great Caesar’s attempted rise to power and then unexpected murder, he is nothing short of this noble leader. That is, in the eyes of the Roman public, not his fellow senators. After Caesar’s death, his adopted son Octavius Caesar is the heir to carry on his great legacy. Octavius is easily able to carry on Julius Caesar’s legacy because of his strong leadership qualities, inflexible ideologies, and arrogant motives that in fact mirrored Caesar’s own traits. Although somewhat favorable traits for a leader of this time, Octavius must realize that this course led his father to a violent, bloody death.
Like Caesar himself Octavius is a skilled leader on the senate and on the battle field. Even in the presence of his enemies, Octavius is able to maintain composure along with complete control of his army. When confronted by Brutus and Cassius from the opposing armies, he takes command of his troops by shouting, “Stir not until the signal (V, i, 26).” If an army has a strong leader they will also be stronger as a whole. While talking to the two enemy generals, insults are exchanged and arguing ensues. Octavius puts an end to this childish fight when he draws his sword, he and Antony then part as he addresses the conspirators, “Come, Antony, away. - / Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth. / If you dare fight today, come to the field. / If not, when
you have stomachs (V, i, 63-66).” Octavius does not let Brutus and Cassius intimidate Antony and himself, and assures them that his army is ready to fight when they are. Although Octavius appears to be ready from his enemies perspective, conflicting thoughts in camp may prove to be a problem when the time comes for battle.
Although Caesar is looked upon as a good man and intimidating leader, his inflexible attitude is one of his weaknesses. Octavius also possesses this...
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