Self-Concepts in Julius Caesar

analytical Essay
1356 words
1356 words

Self-Concepts in Julius Caesar

All people have definite concepts of self. In different

situations, one may feel short, tall, smart, slow, fast, talkative,

reserved, etceteras. These self-concepts are usually very different than

how others view us. Depending on one's actions, words or even tone

of voice, one may misrepresent oneself and be misinterpreted. One may be

so arrogant or so humble that they prevent themselves from seeing

themselves through others' eyes. In William Shakespeare's play Julius

Caesar, two main characters, Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus, present

different personas- one being each characters actual

self-characterizations, which we learn through their discussions with

others, and another is how they are actually perceived in the eyes of

others. Their inability to project their true motives in performing

certain actions eventually brings about their tragic downfalls.

Julius Caesar believed that people needed one strong ruler in

order to have maximum production and proper function of a society. He

believed that he possessed many, if not all, of the characteristics

required of a great leader. He spoke to others in a way which he believed

exhibited authority, told people why he should be the one to lead them,

and thought that his own advice was best. His unwillingness to listen to

others is received as arrogance. Though already warned by the soothsayer

to "beware the ides of March," Caesar refuses to heed advice to stay home

from Calpurnia, his wife, because he feels that she is trying to keep him

from obtaining power and status. Calpurnia believes Caesar to be a prince

and is convinced that some falling meteors are warnings of a prince's

death. When she hears her husband boast that he is more dangerous than

danger itself, she recognizes that this is simple arrogance, and tells him

so, saying, "Alas, my lord/ Your wisdom is consumed in confidence (Act II,

scene 2)." In response to her criticism and humble petitions, Caesar

momentarily agrees to pacify her. However, when he changes his mind and

decides to leave against her admonitions, she reluctantly, but obediently

fetches Caesar's robe and he departs for the Senate, and his meeting with

fate. Caesar's greatest character flaw, however, is thinking that he is

far above others and somehow invincible. When he compares his own

perseverance with that of the North Star, saying "But I am as constant as

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the leader spoke to others in a way which he believed.
  • Describes the man who has just spoken from the throne.
  • Opines that brutus does not raise the question of whether or not a moral end exists.
  • Opines that if not by the face of men, no oath is required.
  • Explains that since brutus "loved rome more," he decided to be a part of the conspiracy.
  • Analyzes how anthony doesn't follow through on his promise.
  • Analyzes how brutus feels that he has done what has been done for the good of the romans.
  • Describes the reasons why people feel about us the way they do and, if necessary, make the changes which will affect them.
  • Explains that as we go through life, we must learn to be perceptive of other people's thoughts and feelings.
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