Julius Caesar Act III Journal Questions

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Julius Caesar Act III Journal Questions 1) Caesar makes some claims about himself in Act III. Based on internal evidence in the play, are these claims true? Do you think the qualities he claims to have would be good qualities in a ruler? Caesar refers to himself as “immovable as the North Star,” and given the turn of events that brought him to the Senate, this is likely very true. Caesar is indeed immovable, even the face of overwhelming opposition. Despite numerous warnings from his wife and soothsayers about his impended doom, he ignores the danger and goes to the Senate. Even in the last minute, someone attempts to hand him a written warning and he brushes it off, saying his personal needs come after business, and refuses to read it. His stubborn immovability ends up leading to his death. He also insinuates that he is divine, by making mention of Mount Olympus, the legendary dwelling place of the gods, and that he is as unshaken as the mountain itself. By making a statement like this, as well as putting his personal interests last in not reading the letter, Caesar seems to ascribe to the notion that his public self is divine and immortal, thereby protecting his personal self with his image. While this idea doesn’t prevent his death, by the end of Act 3, it does end up avenging it. When Antony reminds the crowd of Caesar’s devotion to them, he becomes immortalized in their hearts and minds, and in essence, becomes an immortal god as he believed himself to be. As to whether or not these are good qualities of a ruler that highly depends on the context in which these qualities are applied. A leader does need to be firm and resolute, but not to the point of foolhardiness. A leader can be firm and strong when needed, but should ... ... middle of paper ... ... psychology, saying one thing while meaning the opposite. He continuously refers to Brutus as “an honorable man,” all the while implying he is not. He says he is “not an orator,” when clearly he is. He tells the crowd “not to seek vengeance,” all the while knowing they will. He disproves the idea that Caesar was ambitious by reminding them that he refused the crown three times and reading the will which left Caesar’s property to the citizens. In this way, if the conspirators confront him for inciting the riot, he can truthfully say “I told them not to seek vengeance and I told them you were honorable.” It absolves him of responsibility for the riot, when everyone knows his sarcasm is the very thing that sparked it. Work Cited Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.

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