Loyalty and Betral Julius Caesar Essay
Loyalty and betrayal are central ideas in this play. Explore how Shakespeare illustrates these themes. In Julius Caesar Loyalty and Betrayal create much of the tension and uncertainty in the text. Brutus begins as a loyal the trusted friend to Caesar and his movement towards the conspirators demonstrate how manipulative and influencing an opinion can be, and his honour towards the city meant that the conspirators were able to tear him away from his loyalty to Caesar. In the first scene of Julius Caesar the commoners who once worshipped Pompey have turned their allegiance to Caesar.
After years of supporting Pompey their swift change of opinion shows that they can’t think for themselves and their loyalty and devotion go to the person with the most power. ‘Knew you not Pompey? ’, this shows that they are easily swayed, veering from supporting one character to the next after Caesar’s murder, for example they hail Brutus as a hero. Then Antony’s speech, supposedly only done to “bury Caesar,” persuades them to support him, and they run riot in the city, chasing the conspirators into panic.
They are motivated by misguided loyalty, money and power, such as after they agreed with Brutus as he was the next most powerful man in line, Mark Antony changed their minds by reading the will of Caesar ‘there’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony’ and ‘we’ll burn the house of Brutus’. We see a lot of this theme through the characters, Mark Antony is strongly loyal to Caesar and his actions through to the death of Caesar in Act 3, and he is clearly motivated by his desire to support Caesar and his cause. However something goes wrong for Mark Antony as by Act4. he is engaged in dividing up the conflict, sending people to their deaths and scheming against his partners. Antony is possibly carried away by personal power; it’s not obvious whether he is driven by desire for vengeance to calm her personal grief and get back at those who betrayed Caesar or if like everyone else power has simply gone to his head. Cassius, in the beginning sets himself up in a position of self power, controlling the conspirators and manipulating Brutus to pick between loyalty towards Caesar or his passion for the city of Rome.
Through to Caesars death Cassius continues to act out of self-interest. By the end however, he develops a sense of loyalty to Brutus and Titinius. At the start of the text Brutus’ loyalty is ambiguous. Although he seems loyal he is swayed by flattery and the thought of power by the conspirators, and by Act2. 1 with little persuasion and decides to participate in the murder. Brutus is a man who is torn between personal loyalty and public duty, he is a man with good intentions yet he is motivated by the incorrect concern for the wellbeing of the Romans.
By the end of the play, Brutus like Cassius develops a sense of loyalty to his new comrades, and again like Cassius his last words are self-commanding recognition of guilt. Betrayal is also majorly shown through Brutus in Act3. 1. It shows Brutus to be weak character as he has no known reason to kill Caesar apart from his companions believe that Caesar is abusing his power. Brutus is the last of the conspirators to stab him ’Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar’ this shows have sad and almost disappointed in Brutus Caesar is, as he believed him to be a loyal friend, who literally and metaphorically stabbed him in the back.
Caesars ego is lost after this, as he believes that is Brutus thinks him to be a bad leader, then he must be. ‘And then fall Caesar’, he here sounds like he is accepting his death, because all the people he trusted to be loyal followers have gone and betrayed his trust. Loyalty and Betrayal are themes that run from the beginning of the text to the end. We see this through the characters feelings and relationships but also Roman as a whole. They are mainly showed through the characters influencing our opinion of that character.