Varying Degrees of Loyalty in Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

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Loyalty is a very complex emotion in which a person or animal feels devotion and faithfulness to something or someone. A dog has loyalty to others. Its owner may accidentally slam a door on it, and it will still be loyal to its owner. A cat has loyalty to itself. If its owner pets it wrong, the cat will attack. Dogs and cats show differentiating loyalty, and so do the characters in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. Loyalty is a main theme in the play, with each character showing it differently. Throughout the play, Cassius, Antony, and Brutus all show varying degrees of loyalty.
One character to show varying degrees of loyalty is Cassius. In act 3, scene 1, Cassius was saying that after they killed Caesar, Brutus should lead the way out of the Senate. He said, “Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels/ With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome” (120-121). This shows either one of two things. Either he was so loyal to Brutus that he made him the leader, or he wanted to look like a minority in the conspiracy so he would not receive as great a punishment. He also thinks that Brutus absolutely hates him so much that he offered Brutus his dagger to kill him. He said, “Strike, as thou didst at Caesar; for I know,/ When thou didst hate him worse thou lov’dst him better/ Than ever thou lov’dst Cassius” (4. 3. 104-106). This showed that Cassius was so loyal to himself that he didn’t even think to consider the potential of Brutus feeling anything toward him but enmity. Lastly, he felt that Caesar did not deserve to be ruler of Rome because of his physical disabilities. He said that it amazed him that such a feeble man should, “So get the start of the majestic world,/ And bear the palm alone” (1. 2. 129-130). His physic...

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...y Cassius so he would think that he was doing it for the people of Rome. After killing Caesar, he said, “People and senators, be not affrighted./ Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid” (3. 1. 82-83). This shows that he didn’t kill Caesar for personal gain, but to put an end to Caesar’s excessive ambition and to ensure he wouldn’t become a dictator. While arguing with Cassius, he points out that he killed Caesar for justice and not for personal gain. He said, “Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?/ What villain touched his body, that did stab,/ And not for justice?” (4. 3. 19-21). This means that Brutus is still not trying to gain anything for himself, but rather for the greater good of the Romans.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare Made Easy Julius Caesar. Ed. Alan Durband. New York:
Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1985.
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