Julius Caesar Essay

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Conflicting Perspectives Essay:

As Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius once suggested “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth”; embodying the notion that conflicting perspectives are held by different people towards both events and individuals. I believe that this common idea is held true in William Shakespeare’s production ‘Julius Caesar’, discussing the conflict between Brutus, Cassius and Antony, Richard Glover’s Sydney Morning Herald article ‘Take a Moment to Mourn the Mainstream’, debating against the depreciation of the respect over radio stations between generations, and Frank Capra’s classic film ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, which expresses the triumph of American ideals through the conflicting morals of Senator Jefferson Smith and Joseph Paine. In each we see how the respective composers have used main protagonists as well as various literary and cinematic devices to express the theme of conflicting perspectives and influence the audience’s reception.

During the initial scenes of his play, Shakespeare clearly outlines the distinct conflict of perspectives held by his main protagonists; Antony and Cassius regarding Caesar. Shakespeare’s representation of Antony incorporates that of a humble, loyal and devoted disciple of Caesar; embodied in his vow “When Caesar says, ‘Do this’, it is performed.” Antony’s obedient tone, linked with the concise manner in which he replies to Caesar, captures the utter willingness to serve “Caesar, (his) lord.” In contrast, Shakespeare exhibits Cassius’ bitterness and envy of Caesar as he influences Brutus’ inner confusion to the viewpoint he considers correct. Cassius provides an analogy further encouraging the traitorous desires; “he doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs.” Here Cassius employs a sarcastic tone to aggressively attack Caesar’s authority as a leader, “such a feeble temper should so get the start of

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