Character Thursday (25) : Julius Caesar

This is the first time I read about Julius Caesar, at a play by William Shakespeare with the same title. This play, unfortunately, isn’t about the life of Julius Caesar, it is about the end of Caesar’s life.

It was told that the Romans supported Caesar to be crowned as a King. At first, Caesar refused the crown, until it was offered to him three times. But, not all Romans supported him. Like Cassius who thought that Caesar was too ambitious and not as strong and brave as it seen.

Caesar itself plays a minor role in this play, but as far as I captured from his words, he was very proud of himself. I think that a nobleman at that time should have a kind of self-confidence to win people’s trust. Besides, Caesar also realized that he couldn’t make all people love him. He observed what kind of friends and foes around him.

Would he were fatter! But I fear him not,
Yet if my name were liable to fear,    
I do not know the man I should avoid    
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,    
He is a great observer, and he looks    
Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays,    
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;    
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort    
As if he mock’d himself and scorn’d his spirit    
That could be moved to smile at anything.    
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease    
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,    
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d    
Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar.    
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,    
And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.
(Act I Scene II)

Still, he won’t tell that he was afraid or worried 🙂
Although Cassius said that Caesar wasn’t a brave man, from Caesar’s words, I saw the opposite. When a soothsayer (fortune-teller) said that Caesar had to be careful at the coronation day, he didn’t take it seriously. When his wife, Calpurnia, dreamt about his death, he didn’t seem worried about it.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;    
The valiant never taste of death but once.    
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,    
It seems to me most strange that men should fear    
Seeing that death, a necessary end,    
Will come when it will come.
(Act II Scene II)

Even when Calpurnia begged him not to go, he almost changed his mind, I didn’t see any fear in Caesar. It might be part of his proud, but still I should say that he wasn’t all like what Cassius described. I couldn’t find any kind of tyranny that possibly was done or would be done by Caesar in this play, because I haven’t known much either, so I’m not talking much about it. I just saw that, in one aspect, it was because his toughness that he made a lot of foes arounds.

I could be well moved, if I were as you;    
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;    
But I am constant as the northern star,    
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality    
There is no fellow in the firmament.    
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks;    
They are all fire and every one doth shine;    
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place.    
So in the world, ’tis furnish’d well with men,    
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;    
Yet in the number I do know but one    
That unassailable holds on his rank,    
Unshaked of motion; and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this;    
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,    
And constant do remain to keep him so.
(Act III Scene I)

Also added to LRP November Meme


6 responses to “Character Thursday (25) : Julius Caesar

  1. Haha, yes, Caesar is a proud fellow. I grin when I read he says, “I’m not afraid, but if there’s something I could be afraid of, it would be Cassius.” I find his way of saying that and other things is cute. But his words, “I am as constant as the northern star” costs him his life. (And yet I still imagine it must be so cute.)

    • ow, so you’re a fan of Caesar? haha.. I can’t help but remember your #badtranslation, maybe it ruined some of my judgment 😀

  2. Well, Julius Caesar is really an ambitious and genius politician, he would do anything (anything at all) to reach the top. He had epilepsy (maybe that’s what Cassius referred as weak health), but apart from that he was a great generals in war. So in my opinion, yes, Caesar would become a tyrant lest he escaped the murder. But still…stabbing him for 23 times (by 60 people) was too much I think; he did not deserve that. And what made it more tragic, Caesar was stabbed not because other senators cared for Roman’s future, they were just jealous to Caesar. I’m not a fan of Caesar, but still I think his murder was injustice.

    • I don’t know much about Caesar, I read your reviews about JC and got some enlightenings. For this play was only one episode of Caesar’s life, so I may have wrong judgment. And yes, the murder was too much, but it happened several times, at different countries and eras, that’s tragedy.

  3. Pingback: Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare | Bacaan B.Zee

  4. Pingback: Let’s Read Plays Wrap Up | Bacaan B.Zee

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