Julius Caesar Theme Analysis

Reap What You Sow


The prominent theme that prevails throughout Shakespeare’s Tragedy Julius Caesar is the reoccurring process of manipulation, and how it is used to obtain influence over groups of people. Shakespeare's use of Soliloquies and Rhetorical devices play a crucial role in getting his literary message across to the reader. Cassius is the first one to display this characteristic of persuasive influence towards Brutus when he says, “The fault, dear Brutus is not within our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlinings.” (ACT I SCENE II). Cassius says this, meaning that Julius Caesar rising to power and replacing Pompey as the powerful figure of Rome is not written in the stars, nor does it have to be – it is only happening because they are allowing it to. Therefore, in order to restore order and regain righteousness within their Roman territory, Cassius insists Caesar must be killed . . . even though Brutus is still hesitant about this permanent, brutal decision. Cassius goes on to say, “Upon what meat doth this our great Caesar feed, that he is grown so great?” (ACT I SCENE II). This statement is emphasizing that since Brutus, Cassius, and Caesar all grew up together, they are his equivalents, not his followers. Once the deed has been done and Caesar lays dead and lifeless, his dear friend Anthony, one who was truly loyal to Caesar, uses this concurrent tactic of manipulation when speaking to the common people about Caesar's death. He uses repetition in his speech, mocking the fact that Brutus and his followers are all "noble, honorable" men, however the more he mentions it, the more is becomes apparent that he is being sarcastic when he continuously uses this repetition to get his point across. Manipulation by a figure of authority subconsciously influences individuals decisions, whether they realize it at the time or not, and in this play, it significantly affects the events that follow suit.