Justifying Caesar’s assassination in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
December 20, 2011
Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hessel
In the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, many people could argue for and against the killing of Julius Caesar. Personally I believe that his murder was not justified enough to be conducted. My belief is supported by the fact that the conspirators decision was made purely on belief and jealously, and not factual evidence that would support taking Caesar’s life.
In the play “Julius Caesar”, the decision to murder him was made because of jealousy for a several reasons. Cassius’ jealousy is one reason that Caesar was killed. “And this man is now become a god, and Cassius is a wretched creature” (Shakespeare, 1.2.115-117). This quote shows how Cassius wants the nobility of Caesar, and his power. One of the reasons that Julius Caesar was killed was because Cassius believed that Caesar wasn’t fit for the position of ruler of Rome. He wanted Brutus to become as powerful as Caesar almost was. “Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that ‘Caesar’? Why should that name be sounded more than yours? (Shakespeare, 1.2.142-143). This quotation is basically Cassius asking Brutus why he is no better than Caesar, and why Caesar gets the amazing power that he does, and not Brutus. He tried to trigger the thought in Brutus’ head that he could be just as good or a better ruler than Caesar, which is what Cassius wants for his plot to kill Caesar. Also, Brutus displays some jealousy of Caesar; despite saying he has no jealousy for the man. “I am nothing jealous” (Shakespeare, 1.2.163), “I will consider; what you have to say I will with patience hear” (Shakespeare, 1.2.167-169). This shows that Brutus does want to listen to what Cassius has to say about Caesar and how he thinks Brutus would be a better leader than him. These points explain how jealousy was a main factor in the plot to murder Caesar, and how facts about the
Cited: Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. New York, USA: Signet Classics, 1963 (original written in 1623)