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Julius Caesar Essay

By KarlieLorenz Jun 18, 2013 1223 Words
People are far from perfect, what makes us believe that our leaders are? Personal flaws often affect ones leadership, but this is not always the case. Many people let their flaws affect them as leaders, and it is difficult to be successful when their flaws get in their way. Caesar was an egotistical and oblivious man, and his flaws lead to his assassination. Brutus was a very noble leader, but he was too naïve and idealistic. Cassius was very intelligent, but he was over dramatic. His leadership is cut off because he always agreed with Brutus. However, Mark Antony used his flaws to gain power, and he became a strong leader through manipulation. All of these men were capable of leading Rome, and all of these men had their flaws. Mark Antony was the most successful leader because he used his flaws to his advantage.

There is no such thing as successful leader who is egotistic and oblivious. Julius Caesar was considered the most powerful man in all of Rome; he was also the most arrogant and unmindful leader in history. He thought he was immortal and that no man could effect or threaten him. Caesar boasted, “Danger knows full well that Caesar is more dangerous than he.” (II.ii.45-46) His enormous ego blinded him from all of the omens and threats against him. Caesar was completely oblivious to the conspirators planning to kill him. He noticed that Cassius looked like he was up to no good, but Caesar said “I fear him not yet if my name were liable to fear I do not know the man I should avoid.” (I.ii.208-210) Caesar is an unsuccessful leader because of his fatal flaws; he doesn’t care about his people’s concerns. Caesar claimed that he was “as constant as the North Star”. He blew off Metellus Cimber to claim that he couldn’t be easily persuaded. Even his wife thought he was arrogant! Calpurnia told Caesar “your wisdom is consumed in confidence.”(II.ii.53-54) Not only did his flaws diminish his power, they also ended up getting him killed.

Brutus was the only leader in the play who truly cared about the people of Rome. He was honorable, noble, and idealistic. The only way Cassius convinced Brutus to join the conspiracy was because he convinced him that he would be helping the people. Cassius even forged letters in the name of the people urging him to replace Caesar. He had no intention of killing his good friend, but agreed to do so because he thought Caesar would oppress the people. Brutus stated “ If it be aught the general good, set honor in one eye and death on the other and I will look differently.” (I.ii.93) Brutus wasn’t aware that everyone in Rome wasn’t as trustworthy as him. He was very idealistic, he trusted Mark Antony by letting him speak at Caesars funeral. He said, “ Mark Antony, here take you Caesar’s body… and speak all good you can devise of Caesar.” (III.i.269) He was very naïve and had no idea that by letting Antony speak, he would stir up munity against him. Brutus had great values and morals, but his honorability and idealistic nature made him a naïve and unsuccessful leader. He tried to make noble decisions, but often didn’t make the wise decisions. Even Mark Antony claimed “This was the noblest Roman of them all… he only acted in a general honest thought.” (IV.vi.75) Brutus was a great man, but his fatal flaws made him a naïve and unsuccessful leader.

Cassius was an extremely intelligent and courageous. Cassius was very impulsive and acts on his emotions, this is his fatal flaw and these traits ultimately lead to his death. He was constantly putting his life on the line and threatening to kill himself. He was also very devoted to Brutus. When Cassius failed to give Brutus gold to pay his soldiers he cried, “I that denied the gold will give my heart. Strike as thow didst Caesar.” (IV.iii.115-116) He was very impulsive and always made decisions too quickly. In the beginning of the play, Cassius was very manipulative towards Brutus. However towards the conclusion of the novel, Cassius became tremendously dependent and attached to Brutus. He always gave in to him, and agreed with his decisions. When the two men were debating over what war tactics to use against Antony and Octavius, Brutus wanted to go down the mountain to fight. Cassius didn’t agree, but allowed Brutus take charge; he said “Then with your will, go on, well along us and meet them at Philippi.”(IV.iii.225) Cassius would be a marvelous leader if it weren’t for his flaws. By allowing Brutus to make all of the decisions, his leadership was cut off. He didn’t even have the ability to be a leader when he wasn’t the one making the decisions. Cassius was so quick and impulsive; he sometimes makes catastrophic choices. He even kills himself because he thought Antony’s troops had invaded their camps. He said “Here, take thou the hilts, and when my face is covered as tis now, Guide thou the sword.” (V.iii.45-48) If he had waited another five minutes before killing himself he would have realized that they won the battle. Cassius was a brave person, but an impulsive and weak leader.

Mark Antony was known in the beginning of the play as the "foolish" reveler who enjoys plays and masquerades. Antony was not taken seriously and he has a low rank in the senate. In Act 1 he was only known as an excellent friend to Caesar. Nobody thought of Antony is a threat. Brutus even decided not to kill him by saying "for he is well given to sports, to wildness and much company/ there is no fear in him" (II.i.188-189) Even Caesar wasn’t serious with Antony, he was surprised when Antony was up early and says "See! Antony, that revels long, a nights is not withstanding up." (II.ii.116-117). Antony had such a strong reputation for being a "party boy" that this flaw in his character ended up helping him gain power. Little did people realize that Antony was actually very manipulative and cunning. He convinced Brutus to let him speak at Caesar's funeral by pretending to be his friend. He easily changed the people’s point of view, and started a mutiny against the conspirators. His use of irony was very influential; he claims, " I am no orator, as Brutus is!" (III.ii.219). There was a major change in Antony after the death of Caesar. He used his reputation to his advantage and defeated the conspirators. Mark Antony was a great speaker and could control the people very well. Antony changed from a reveler to a victorious leader throughout the play.

In order to be a successful leader, it is imperative to master communicating and manipulating people. All people have flaws, and there is no such thing as a perfect leader. It is impossible to please everyone, and meet the needs of all people. Cassius, Brutus and Caesar allow their flaws to diminish their leadership. Antony is a successful leader because he is able to change throughout the course of the play.

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