Julius Caesar Critical Analysis

Topics: Roman Republic, Augustus, Julius Caesar Pages: 2 (596 words) Published: October 8, 2013

Blindly Following
Julius Caesar is a play with many central ideas, but one in particular stands out to its readers. Shakespeare shows in Julius Caesar that following people blindly can end in conflict through the plot.

The gullible Roman citizens in the play believe any leader who speaks. "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! / O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, / Knew you not Pompey?" (1.1.35-37). The Romans switch their loyalties at the drop of a hat, from Pompey to Caesar, to Brutus to Antony. As Cassius puts it, "And why should Caesar be a tyrant then? / Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf, / But that he sees the Romans are but sheep: / He were no lion, were not Romans hinds" (1.3.103-106). He explains that Caesar is only in power because the citizens are so easily swayed and are easy prey, like sheep. They do not question the authenticity of their leader, but follow him without question. This causes conflict to arise between potential leaders and those already in power. Greed and a hunger for power drive tyrants and noblemen alike to do the unthinkable to achieve the position of leadership.

Secondly, the leadership of the conspiracy is never doubted or questioned. "every man away: / Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels / With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome" (3.1.119-121). Cassius and the lesser conspirators continuously follow what Brutus commands. They may disagree with him at times, but Brutus always has the final word. Even though every decision Brutus makes ends in failure, they continue to trust him and follow him blindly. In turn, Brutus listens to Cassius’ manipulations. Cassius had written in his letters, "I have heard, / Where many of the best respect in Rome, / Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus / And groaning underneath this age's yoke, / Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes" (1.2.58-62), planting a seed of rebellion in Brutus. While Brutus did question Cassius at first,...
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