Psychoanalysis of Caesar and Cassius

Topics: Roman Republic, Battle of Philippi, Augustus Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: August 29, 2000
In the play, Julius Caesar, many characters are objected to possible failure. Two of the most prominent of these characters are Cassius and Caesar. They both react to this possibility of failure similarly, and in such a way that is in acquiescence with other theories of relating with failure and its tendency in humans.

Cassius's non-belief in fate changes when nearing his death. During the beginning of the play, he felt that he was in charge of his own destiny, "Men at some times are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves..."(I.ii.146-147). This belief, came from Epicureanism which Cassisus was a follower of, "You know that I held Epicurus strong and his opinion" (V.i.85-86). Epicureanism does not require the belief of a god nor does it believe in an after life, an aversion from common Roman philosophies who believed in fate, and gods. Cassius also did not believe in omens and fate until Act V, while nearing the battle at Phillipi. Cassius believes that the actions of birds he sees on the way to Phillipi are omens and tells a friend that he is starting to believe in fate. His invalidation of previous principles that he once held so strong have been starting to deteriorate. This complete change in belief is human tendency when dealing with failure or death. It is easier and more satisfying to believe that fate has lead you to failure rather than yourself; blaming your mistakes on others is easier than holding yourself responsible.

Caesar, the pompous ruler of Rome, changes his beliefs when nearing death also. Caesar thinks he is almost god-like and just as powerful. However, it is said by Cassius that Caesar, ‘is superstitious grown of late'(II.i.195). He also succumbs to his wife's entreaty to stay home because she suspects he will die. However, Caesar, like Cassius eventually dies, despite recent feelings of superstition. Nevertheless, Caesar does show that he has veered from his usual presumptuous self, to a...
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