Fate versus complimentary Will

Julius Caesar raises countless questions about the force of fate in life matches the capacity for free will. Cassius refuses to accept Caesar’s increasing power and deems a belief in fate to it is in nothing an ext than a type of passivity or cowardice. He says to Brutus: “Men at at some point were masters of their fates. / The fault, dear Brutus, is no in our stars, / but in ourselves, the we are underlings” (I.ii.140–142). Cassius urges a go back to a more noble, self-possessed attitude toward life, blaming his and Brutus’s submissive stance no on a predestined arrangement but on your failure to assert themselves.

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Ultimately, the play seems to assistance a philosophy in i beg your pardon fate and freedom maintain a fragile coexistence. Therefore Caesar declares: “It seems to me most strange that men should fear, / Seeing the death, a important end, / will certainly come once it will come” (II.ii.35–37). In other words, Caesar recognizes that details events lie past human control; to crouch in are afraid of lock is to enter a paralysis equal to, if not worse than, death. That is come surrender any capacity for flexibility and firm that one might actually possess. Indeed, probably to confront death head-on, to die bravely and also honorably, is Caesar’s best course: in the end, Brutus interprets his and Cassius’s defeat together the work of Caesar’s ghost—not just his apparition, but likewise the force of the people’s devotion come him, the strong legacy that a male who refused any kind of fear the fate and, in his overlook of fate, seems to have transcended it.

Public me versus private Self

Much of the play’s tragedy stems native the characters’ disregard of private feelings and also loyalties in favor of what they think to be the general public good. Similarly, personalities confuse their exclusive selves with their publicly selves, hardening and dehumanizing themselves or transforming themselves right into ruthless political machines. Brutus rebuffs his wife, Portia, as soon as she pleads v him to confide in her; believing himself to be acting on the people’s will, the forges ahead through the killing of Caesar, despite their near friendship. Brutus place aside his an individual loyalties and also shuns thoughts of Caesar the man, his friend; instead, he acts upon what the believes to be the public’s wishes and also kills Caesar the leader, the unavoidable dictator. Cassius deserve to be seen as a man who has gone to the extreme in cultivating his publicly persona. Caesar, relenten his distrust of Cassius, tells Antony that the difficulty with Cassius is his absence of a exclusive life—his seeming refuse to identify his very own sensibilities or to bite his own spirit. Together a man, Caesar fears, will let nothing interfere with his ambition. Indeed, Cassius lacks all feeling of personal honor and also shows self to be a ruthless schemer.

Ultimately, neglecting private sentiments to monitor public comes to brings Caesar to his death. Back Caesar does briefly agree to stay house from the Senate in order to you re welcome Calpurnia, who has actually dreamed of his murder, that gives means to ambition when Decius tells him that the senators setup to market him the crown. -Caesar’s public me again bring away precedence. Tragically, he no much longer sees the difference in between his omnipotent, immortal publicly image and his delicate human body. Simply preceding his death, Caesar refuses Artemidorus’s pleas to speak v him, saying that he gives last priority to his most an individual concerns. He therefore endangers self by believing the the toughness of his public self will protect his personal self.

Misinterpretations and Misreadings

Much that the play encounters the characters’ failures to translate correctly the omens the they encounter. As Cicero says, “Men might construe things after their fashion, / Clean native the objective of the points themselves” (I.iii.34–35). Thus, the night coming before Caesar’s appearance in ~ the Senate is complete of portents, but no one reads lock accurately: Cassius takes them to represent the risk that Caesar’s imminent coronation would bring to the state, when, if anything, they warning of the destruction that Cassius himself threatens. There are calculated misreadings as well: Cassius manipulates Brutus into joining the conspiracy by means of forged letters, understanding that Brutus’s trusting nature will cause him to accept the letter as really pleas native the roman people.

The scenarios of Cassius’s fatality represent an additional instance of misinterpretation. Pindarus’s erroneous conclusion that Titinius has been caught by the enemy, once in truth Titinius has actually reunited with friendly forces, is the piece of misinformation that prompts Cassius to look for death. Thus, in the civilization of politics depicted in Julius Caesar, the inability to read people and events leader to downfall; whereas the capability to perform so is the vital to survival. With so much ambition and also rivalry, the ability to gauge the public’s opinion and the resentment or loyalty of one’s other politicians can guide one come success. Antony proves masterful in ~ recognizing his situation, and also his specific reading of the crowd’s emotions during his funeral oration because that Caesar permits him to win the masses end to his side.

Inflexibility matches Compromise

Both Brutus and Caesar are stubborn, fairly inflexible human being who eventually suffer fatally because that it. In the play’s aggressive political landscape, people succeed v adaptability, bargaining, and also compromise. Brutus’s rigid though honorable ideals leaving him open up for manipulation by Cassius. That believes so completely in the purpose of the assassination the he does not perceive the require for excessive political maneuvering to justification the murder. Equally resolute, Caesar prides self on his steadfastness; however this constancy helps bring about his death, as he refuses to heed ill omens and also goes willingly come the Senate, right into the hand of his murderers.

Antony proves maybe the many adaptable of all of the politicians: while his speech to the roman inn citizens centers top top Caesar’s generosity towards each citizen, he later on searches for methods to turn these funds right into cash in order come raise one army versus Brutus and also Cassius. Although he gains power by providing to honor Caesar’s will certainly and carry out the citizens their rightful money, it becomes clear the ethical concerns will not avoid him from using the funds in a much more politically expedient manner. Antony is a successful politician—yet the inquiry of principles remains. There seems to it is in no method to reconcile for sure moral values with success in politics in Shakespeare’s rendition of ancient Rome; thus each character battles toward a various solution.

Rhetoric and Power

Julius Caesar gives detailed factor to consider to the relationship in between rhetoric and also power. The capacity to make things occur by indigenous alone is the many powerful kind of authority. Early in the play, that is developed that Caesar has this form of pure authority: “When Caesar states ‘Do this,’ it is performed,” states Antony, that attaches a similar weight to Octavius’s words toward the finish of the play (I.ii.12). Words also serve to move hearts and also minds, as Act III evidences. Antony cleverly convinces the conspirators the his desire come side with them: “Let each man render me with his bloody hand” (III.i.185). Under the guise of a gesture that friendship, Antony in reality marks the conspirators for vengeance. In the Forum, Brutus speak to the crowd and appeals come its love that liberty in stimulate to justification the death of Caesar. He additionally makes ample reference to the honor in which he is normally esteemed so regarding validate further his explanation that the deed. Antony similarly wins the crowd’s favor, making use of persuasive rhetoric to whip the masses right into a frenzy so good that castle don’t even realize the fickleness of your favor.

Ethics vs Politics

The stress and anxiety in Julius Caesar originates from the question of even if it is Caesar’s position in strength is ethically acceptable or not, and whether males of great conscience can enable a male like Caesar to organize such power over the roman inn citizens. Caesar wins victories for Rome and also becomes popular both with the usual masses and the rich families. Politically, Caesar’s position shows up beyond reproach, however the conspirators in the play—namely, Brutus—conclude that they are ethically impelled to avoid Caesar prior to his ambition grows and he becomes unstoppable.

The play directly addresses the conflict between ethics and politics once Brutus and Antony deliver speeches after Caesar’s assassination. Brutus has one opportunity to explain to the Romans that the murder of Caesar was ethically necessary. Tellingly, when Brutus convinces the crowd that he to be ethically correct in death Caesar before he enslaved the people, Antony is able to instantaneously cancel Brutus’s cases with his very own speech. Because that Brutus, inviting Antony to speak in ~ Caesar’s funeral to be the right and honorable gesture, but he grossly overestimates the public’s respect because that these sorts of moral decisions. In this instance, Antony proves to it is in the far better politician, capable of swaying the crowd through his rhetoric and passion, when Brutus’s strict morality borders his ability to it is in a powerful politician and understand the fickle nature that the roman inn citizens.


Julius Caesar revolves around the inquiry of what constitutes a tyrant. Before Brutus have the right to convince himself to kill Caesar, the must believe that Caesar is either a tyrant, or that he will inevitably become one. Because that Brutus, this inquiry depends on whether Caesar wants power for himself or even if it is the senators and also citizens space thrusting that strength upon him. In act I, Casca tells Brutus and Cassius that Antony readily available Caesar a crown 3 times and that three times Caesar refuse to accept it. Caesar’s initial refusal of the crown suggests he doesn’t want total power for himself, however the people are trying come thrust strength upon him. However, Cassius says Caesar will come to be a tyrant if he’s given absolute power, even if the doesn’t start out together a tyrant: “I understand he would not be a wolf / but that he sees the Romans are yet sheep” (I.iii).

The question of tyranny is likewise at the heart of the crucial scene in plot IV once Brutus and also Antony speak end Caesar’s dead body. Brutus claims that he was justified in death Caesar, and also Antony claims that Brutus was not justified. The two guys disagree around whether Caesar to be a tyrant or not. Ultimately, Antony is may be to demonstrate how Caesar rejected opportunities to seize an individual power, common his victories with the roman inn people, and also included all the citizens of Rome in his will. For the public, this assertions develop that Caesar was no a tyrant, and therefore Brutus and also the other conspirators are not just murderers, however enemies that Rome. The success of Antony’s speech argues that tyranny must, in part respect, be in the eye of the beholder. The Caesar the Brutus explains in his speech and also the Caesar the Antony describes are the exact same man, but Antony is far better able to make the audience view Caesar together someone who would never have actually resorted come tyranny.


In the Roman civilization of Julius Caesar, honor is a matter of selflessness, rationality, and pride. No character in the play more clearly embodies the virtue of honor than Brutus. Practically every personality recognizes Brutus’s call for honor. Because that instance, Cassius exploits this reputation once he recruits Brutus into the assassination conspiracy, hoping that Brutus’s famous honor will certainly legitimize the conspiracy. Also at the finish of the play, after ~ he has actually caused so much strife, Brutus retains his honorable reputation. Together Antony explains, “All the conspirators save only he / Did the they did in envy of an excellent Caesar.” Brutus acted honorably due to the fact that he eliminated Caesar for the greater benefit of Rome, not due to the fact that of his very own jealousy. Brutus more demonstrates honor v his commitment to rationality. Although initially horrified by the idea of death Caesar, Brutus weighs the matter and also concludes that, regardless of his emotional revulsion at the idea, assassination is however justified. Finally, Brutus exhibits honor when he choose to take his own life quite than let self be captured. Catch would suggest weakness, and also Brutus’s desire to appear strong and preserve his pride leads him to dice on his very own terms.

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Another vital element of respect in Julius Caesar relates to loyalty, a matter that proves somewhat facility in a pat where too much loyalty leader to lot political strife. Shakespeare constructed his play roughly two main friendships: one in between Brutus and also Cassius, and also another between Caesar and Antony. Back the profound loyalty that defines each of these friendships is touching, that very same loyalty additionally proves dangerous. Because that example, Cassius leverages his devotion come Brutus to convince his girlfriend to join the assassination plot. Brutus in turn enables his love because that Cassius to command him into errors of referee that ultimately result in both of their deaths. Just as Cassius and Brutus act out of common loyalty, Antony likewise acts out of a deep devotion come Caesar and, later, to Octavius. Although Antony initially insurance claims the justness the the conspirators’ cause, he displayed his ongoing commitment to Caesar once he turns the roman public against the conspirators in ~ Caesar’s funeral—an act that instigates rioting and also war. These characters demonstrate honor through friendship, and yet their loyalty likewise destroys the Republic.