Roman Republic and Literary Elements Essay
Honor, ambition, and tragic heroes - Roman Republic and Literary Elements Essay introduction. These are the literary elements that consist within both, “Antigone”, and, “Julius Caesar”. Both stories have similar conflicts that can relate one way or another. They contrast as well, with there being different conflicts. One where an ambitious ruler attempts to turn Rome into a monarchy, and another where a man who strives to be an overlord refuses to bury a fallen soldier. Both of the plays “Antigone”, and “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, have similarities and differences with the literary elements that they use.
One similarity that both plays have is the use of honor. In both plays there is someone very honorable. Brutus is the most honorable character in “Julius Caesar”, and Antigone is the most honorable character is “Antigone”. They both broke the law to do an honorable deed. In doing so, they both ended up dead because of their honorable deed. Also, they both acted upon the divine law of God and did it only because it was the right thing to do, not because they were ambitious.
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One difference that these plays have concerning honor, is that in “Julius Caesar”, Brutus, was being encouraged to kill Caesar for the good of Rome and had all of the conspirators supporting him. Whereas Antigone had only herself to go to, and the only person aware of her plan to bury Polyneices was Ismene, and she tried her hardest to convince Antigone to not bury Polyneices because she will be breaking the law.
A couple examples of honorable acts in “Julius Caesar” would be when Brutus allowed Mark Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral, even though Antony was the enemy. Another example of honor would be when Antony stated that even though Brutus broke the law, he was still the most honorable conspirator of them all. A couple examples of honorable acts in “Antigone” would be when Antigone buried Polyneices because he deserved a proper burial, even though Creon made it a federal crime to bury him. On the contrary, Creon did bury Eteocles, which was honorable of him to do.
Another similarity that both plays have is the ambition that the characters have in the plays. In both plays, Creon and Caesar were well-respected rulers that have almost total control over all of the citizens. Another similarity is that they both wanted total power and control but did not completely have it. They also both would do anything to keep themselves in power.
In “Antigone”, Creon was ambitious to rule with an iron fist over his people and not care about their opinion of him. Creon disregarded family relations when it came to crime. Creon was also being ambitious when he refused to bury Polyneices because he was showing that he could do what he wanted and no one would try to stop him.
In contrast, Caesar wanted to become emperor and rule with the people on his side. He tried to make himself seem very humble and modest, for example, he denied the crown to become emperor three times to make himself seem humble. Something else ambitious in “Julius Caesar” was how Cassius wanted to take over Rome after they killed Caesar. He didn’t kill Caesar for Rome, he killed Caesar for his own personal gain with no regards to Rome.
Tragic heroes consisted in both plays as well. In both plays, both tragic heroes, Brutus and Antigone, had unhappy endings. They both had good intentions but ended up dying for trying to do the right thing. They also both killed themselves in the end.
In “Julius Caesar”, Brutus killed Caesar as his honorable act. He had other people, the conspirators, on his side. Also, he was Caesars best friend. In “Antigone”, she buried someone, she didn’t kill someone, like Brutus did. Polyneices was Antigone’s brother, not best friend, like how Caesar and Brutus were best friends. Also, Creon is a tragic hero to some extent because he did change his ways at the end of the story and intended to become a good person and fix everything, but sadly his life fell apart, with everyone close to him killing themselves.
In conclusion, both of the plays “Antigone”, and “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, have similarities and differences with the literary elements that they use. Both of the stories have honor, ambition, and a tragic hero. They compare and contrast these literary elements but both have generally similar situations.