English Mod C Essay

1348 words - 6 pages

Module C – Julius Caesar (Jun Gao)
A dilemma will arise when there is a collision between man’s internal perceptions and external realities causing a conflict in perspectives. William Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ highlights the paradox between appearance and reality concerning these perceptions, which further complicate an already volatile atmosphere. Similarly, Lewis Allen’s lyrics, ‘Strange Fruit’ sung by Billie Holiday examines the subliminal yet the horrifying example of conflicting moral perspectives and its repercussions. In keeping with this theme, Alan J.Pakula’s doco-drama ‘All the President’s Men’, highlights the discordant perceptions between bureaucracy and the media ...view middle of the document...

Shakespeare through the use of simile, ‘as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome’ highlights Brutus’ internal conflict between self-interest and public agendas. Cassius ironically does not concern himself with public nor political discord; rather it is his obsessive jealousy and coupled with his need to manipulate Brutus that serves as his prime motivator in this equation, ‘Brutus and Caesar, why should that name be sounded more than yours?’ Shakespeare’s purpose was to emphasise the conflict in morals and values and what it means to be ‘true Romans.’

In ‘Julius Caesar’, the continual re-defining of what it means to be a ‘True Roman’ ironically underscores how the spirit of democracy has been forfeited by not only Caesar and his supporters but also the conspirators. Believing that ‘our reasons are so full of good regard’, Cassius unites the conspirators, swaying them to ‘undergo with [him] an enterprise of honourable dangerous consequences.’ Their perception ultimately shapes their actions. Cassius’ rationale for the murder of Caesar is seen as honourable, but driven solely by the assumption that ‘Caesar be a tyrant…he sees the Romans are but sheep.’ This perception of the assumed threat to democracy is diametrically opposed to Mark Antony’s view behind the motive of their actions, as a ‘sudden flood of mutiny’ and a direct threat to the very democracy that they claim are protecting. Shakespeare portrays Antony as a loyal friend of Caesar, declaring that Caesar was’ faithful and just’, emphasising his loyalty and regarded by the plebeians as ‘there is not a nobler man in Rome than Antony’. Using sarcasm, ‘Brutus is an honourable man. So are they all, all honourable man’, Antony successfully highlights the oxymoron existing between the conspirator’s justification and the reality of the brutal murder of Caesar. ‘The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny’ metaphorically represents the fundamental change that has not caused by Caesar, but his death, creating a ‘sudden flood of mutiny’. Shakespeare through the use of dramatic conventions, alters the audiences’ perspective on the assassination as Antony asserts that, ‘the evil that men do lives after them‘, highlighting the false rationale that the conspirators firmly standby. Shakespeare offers an even-handed representation of the murder of Caesar, exploring conflicting perspectives of the instability concerning political power struggle, which would have appealed to Elizabethan audiences.

Shakespeare portrays his central character Julius Caesar, as the embodiment of conflicting perspectives, imbued with flaws as well as attributes. Historically, he is considered a courageous military genius, while simultaneously considered to be arrogant and dictatorial. He describes himself, using authoritative language, ‘for always I am Caesar’, perceiving himself as God-like. Ironically although flawed, he alone is perceptive, seeing Cassius as he really is, a man with ‘a lean and hungry look’ as opposed to...

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