0 that we then could come by Caesar's spirit. These growing feathers plucked from Caesar's wing, Who else would soar above the view of men. A person learns to judge herself by virtue of the judgments others make of her and by virtue of the standards others use to judge her. %G. / . One may equate this identity struggle with a more modern-day societal theme of finding a work-life balance. Julius Caesar is a highly successful leader of Rome whose popularity seems to model that of a king's. He tells them that his name is Cinna and his destination is Caesar's funeral. That work such as Danson's is a misreading of sociology, I have argued elsewhere ("Freeloading Off the Social Sciences," P&L 15, 2 [October 19911: 260-67); that Montuori's is a misreading of Greenblatt is implied in Greenblatt's recent book, Learning to Curse (New York: Routledge, 1990). Honigmann, it. In tragedy, as I have suggested, a situation arises that makes personal demands upon the hero by bringing into opposition the components of his or her identity. The decision to spare Antony seems especially perplexing since Cassius does not allow Brutus to ignore this threat. Hy het 'n rol gespeel in die transformasie van die Romeinse Republiek na die Romeinse Ryk.Caesar was 'n gewilde politikus en het 'n triumviraat saam met Marcus … The play suggests that for him at least such an end is more than satisfactory. If Cassius holds up a mirror to Brutus, if Cassius invites him into the play, Brutus reveals immediately to Cassius that he is not one to be played with, not a pipe to be played on. Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus. In incident after incident he brushes love aside" (p. 94). . of Chicago Press, 1962), p. 201. shaunaritchey. "20 Far from factoring out the individuality or uniqueness of the self, Mead insists both that the group is essential to the development of individuality and that developed individuality is essential to the development of the group. Can anyone imagine a man in Caesar's-or Lear's-position not associating his self with his role? The body must be able, to some extent, to appropriate as its own its mimetic reproduction of them."18. Some old- fashioned colleagues think that this short excerpt, it may seem. H. Aram Veeser (New York: Routledge, 1989), pp. Brutus will direct the show and he, not Cassius, will define himself. Both women beg their husbands on bended knee to honor their wishes. As a result, a hero finds himself suddenly "at war" with his fellows and, more importantly, as Brutus, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Antony, and Coriolanus know well, with himself. . Knight concludes that "Brutus refuses love for honour. Or to put it differently, with which parts of self does the assassination align him? And, he suggests, 'therein we have the key to his acts: he serves honour always in preference to love" (p. 71). IgRom Harrk explains that many "psychological" or subjective attributes have public or objective equivalents. Alfred Harbage (New York: Viking Press, 1969), and will appear parenthetically in the text. Brutus states that while he would rather not kill Caesar, Caesar’s death is the only way to ensure the well-being of Rome. (Chicago and London: Univ. In the face of Cassius's Realpolitik, Brutus argues that above all the conspiracy must avoid the appearance of a power-hungry group battling another for the state's power. The Republic, Cassius argues, is based on equality ("When could they say [till now] that talked of Rome / That her wide walks encompassed but one man?" (I.iv.220). In the end, Brutus acknowledges only what he has gained: Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake? He urges us to see subjects as both creatures and creators of their societies, as both determined by and determiners of the social structures around them. Fraser del Ida 10 terms. The playwright's effort here is, however, only partially successful. ― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar Test- quotes and quizizz 87 terms. Gaius Julius Caesar, better known as Caligula, is an essential character of Dracula Untold.He is the first vampire to be recorded in history, perhaps the progenitor of the vampire race. That of yourself which you yet know not of. is not in the least incompatible with, or destructive of, the fact that every individual self has its own peculiar individuality, its own unique pattern. Publius Cimber does not speak or appear in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. And really, Brutus decides quite easily that "it must be by his death." The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by caesarean section (from the Latin verb to cut, caedere, caes-). Ultimately, it must make individually its own what others, who are of its own sort, have made of it.. . Jonathan Goldberg identifies such oppositions as peculiarly modern, suggesting that "today, public and private function as essentially opposing categories and . 'For example it seems clear that rationality is as much a public attribute of the systematic relations of speech and action determined by social convention as it is a property of mind or of mental processes and constructionsn (Social Being: A Theory for Social Psychology [Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 19791, p. 285). Brutus takes his "authorialn responsibilities seriously because, to extend the metaphor, he will be a leading character in the play he writes. All these critics share my sense that Brutus acts to maintain his sense of himself as honorable. Choice thus intensifies a hero's relation to a part or parts of his or her identity; generally, choice defines a hero's identity more narrowly. 'Xertainly, too, Brutus's response to news of Portia's death indicates that some distance and formality characterize their relationship. Like “Of all the wonders that I have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing death, a necessary end, Will come when it … Indeed, if Platt is correct, if "honor is the principle of the Republic," then one might argue that Shakespeare binds Brutus and the Republic through an association of each with honor. Julius Caesar Birth Date c. July 12, 0100 BCE Death Date March 15, 0044 BCE Did You Know? 32Michael Platt, Rome and Romans According to Shakespeare, rev. '6Derek Traversi comments that "as always, Brutus is taking refuge in a satisfactory picture of himself as one who has dared, for 'honour' alone, to lead and inspire a conspiracy that overthrew 'the foremost man of all this world'; but where disinterest ends and egoism, the need to live up to an ennobling vision of his own motives, begins, we might be hard put to decide" (Shakespeare: The Roman Plays [Stanford: Stanford Univ. 154- 551). Caesar was born into a very well-to-do and established family of the ruling class known as gens Julia, or of Iulus. '*, Soon, shall we say by 1984, the death of the individual, whether author or critic or character, was firmly registered in the critical literature, and in some quarters now seems complete. is something beyond and above the actual processes of life in ~ociety. Get an answer for 'Identify and explain the cobbler's puns in Julius Caesar.' This essay suggests that they are not mutually exclusive theatrical genres, and thus can be combined in one … After all, Lear is not long on the heath, for he must soon gather what he can of his racked self to plunge again into what is the situation of human beings: not alone and not separate, Lear-like us-is related in many ways to many other people and even is, as he sees, responsible for them (III.iv.28-36). In short, Montrose urges us to theorize a relationship between subjects and social structures less "paranoidn-to borrow Frank Lentricchia's term15-than those theorized so far. Brutus admits openly, "I know no personal cause to spurn at him" (II.i.11, 19-21, 28-29). But if the parts of Brutus's self are brought into conflict by the threat of Caesar's power, a sociological understanding of the self leads one to wonder what Brutus's decisions to join the conspiracy and to murder Caesar indicate about his self. One must remember, as Cassius emphasizes again and again, that the legal status of the Republic is at issue here, not the character and deeds of Caesar. The New Historicism, pp. Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 12/13, 100? ? As Hugh, M. Richmond explains, Brutus's "very useful virtues of integrity disrupt the ruthless efficiency of Cassius's plot, at the same time as their popular appeal makes that plot possible. This "name" is peculiar to him, a quality that others recognize, and by it especially does Brutus place himself among his fellows; indeed, his fellow Romans recognize this quality of Brutus as easily as they recognize his "outward favor" (I.ii.90-91; II.i.23'7-56). Genre Identity Of Julius Caesar. . More strikingly, Brutus takes over the direction of the conspiracy almost as soon as he becomes involved in it. When he was sixteen, his father died and Caesar became the head of the family. Pelican edn., gen. ed. In this scene of Act II, Brutus discusses the plot to kill Caesar with the other conspirators. . . Given Cassius's repeated and direct warnings, I am led to conclude that Brutus spares Antony as it were with his eyes open; aware of the risks, he seems to choose to think of him as "but a limb of Caesar.". English 2 Julius Caesar Act 3 & 4 Quiz Review 36 terms. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. 7H.A. But Brutus's firm, terse response to Cassius's initial approach reveals his power to dominate. 3SPhilip Edwards, "Person and Ofice in Shakespeare's Plays," Interpretations of Shakespeare: British Academy Shakespeare Lectures, ed. – 44 v.C.) As the orchard scene shows, Brutus directs the conspiracy, defines its nature, and indeed, one may suggest, uses it for his own purposes. Sharon O'Dair is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama. kmd_dancer. In a critical milieu that privileged (and perhaps still privileges) interiority and the emotions in understandings of character, that seemed (and seems) to take for granted "that there is a distinction between a Shakespearian person and the public or political position he chooses or is forced into," it is perhaps not surprising that Brutus should be criticized for failing to choose love or friendship over what Knight calls "abstract honor. the regal, the conquering reality." The name of honor insists that means be appropriate, that is, justly related, to ends, and as important. Rather, I think, he verbalizes and publicizes (and perhaps thereby validates) the "conceptions" Brutus had considered "only proper to myself' (I.ii.41). shaunaritchey. "1° But as his research progressed, he concluded with great regret that "the human subject itself [seemed] remarkably unfree, the ideological product of the relations of power in a particular society."" Rather, he reworked characters and events with which most of his audience would have been familiar. I argue that neo-Fregean and supervaluationist solutions to the Caesar objection fails because, If Brutus is honorable and thus useful to men like Cassius, as well as domineering and thus dangerous to men like Cassius, he is also, it seems, a "gentle" man. In playing her role as wife to Brutus, one may imagine that Portia is like the boy Lucius, who tries to keep pace with his insomniac lord because 'it is my duty" (IV.iii.260). Brutus's decision to murder Caesar is, as I have argued, a choice that resolves an opposition between the role demands of friendship and the role demands of citizenship. Both decisions, then, to murder and how to murder, spring above all from Brutus's concern with maintaining a clear sense of himself as honorable. The name of honor more than I fear death. Richmond claims that in the last acts "Brutus' is clearly a mind not in full possession of itself,"34 and it does seem that the gentle Roman wraps himself in a layer of protective honor. . Here in Act I, Brutus responds to Cassius’s question of whether Brutus wants Caesar to be king or not. Brutus strengthens this declaration by saying that he fears losing his honor more than death. . Weimann's conception of character in Shakespeare challenges what until recently has been a deeply seated assumption that the aim of criticism is less to show "the very age and body of the time / his form and pressure" (HamletIII.ii.22-23)4 than to illumine the self as a secret and personal locus of human consciousness. Caesar puts the end of a well-run state above the means of government, and so, Brutus must oppose him. Characters, like human beings, develop identity, a sense of self, within a context that is defined by the group; thus empowered, the character, like the individual, may affect the context in which he or she finds himself or herself. Whether it begins in Caesar or in Cassius, Brutus must oppose the "politic" course that would wrap unjust and dishonest means or ends in an appealing package. but such a poor, bare, forked animal" (III.iv.101-102), one must acknowledge, too, that how man accommodates himself is certainly partly the result of his own efforts. Sometimes, it is easy for one to assess the degree of another's involvement in a role; at other times it is not so easy, and one may find oneself, as Othello does, "as tenderly . and the slippery signifier" requires us to rethink our modern and postmodern understanding of relationships between subjects and social structures. Rather, as Brutus notes tellingly, "We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar" (II.i.167), a man who "would be crowned" (II.i.12). Brutus goes to his grave impervious to the realities of the world in which he lived and created his identity, suggesting that "My heart doth joy that yet in all my life / I found no man but he was true to me" (V.v.34-35). above the view of men" (I.i.73-74). Having sacrificed Caesar to his self, to his honor, Brutus finds no more threats in the actions of men: His self is beyond reproach and perhaps beyond reach. Brutus challenges Cassius, as he challenges Caesar, because each would subordinate means to ends. He explains his choice to focus on his public identity and doing what he believes is best for Rome. . . Kenneth Muir (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), pp. He continues to point out his practical "fears" about Antony even to the moment when the conspirators first encounter him after the murder of Caesar (III.i.143-4'7). Honigmann observes, "refer to 'gentle Brutus'; 'gentle' is one of Brutus's own favorite words; and in the end the word sticks. Caesar's confiding to Antony at Lupercal indicates that he trusts Antony and looks upon him as a friend in return, perhaps even as a protégé. Somewhat to Cassius' distress, Brutus takes his function very seriously and overrules his partner on a number of points which later turn out to be crucial.26. What Brutus does is align himself with honor, the dominant strand in his identity and, as Michael Platt observes, "the principle of the Rep~blic,"'~not with the demands of the politician's role he is playing currently (and as he thinks, temporarily). The fortunes of the state rise and fall according to the efforts of all its citizens. Certainly none of these images captures the character of the man one sees in this play. As she does so, she recognizes her developing self, for as Brutus observes in Julius Caesar, the play I focus on in this essay, "the eye sees not itself / But by reflection, by some other thingsn (I.ii.52-53). Such a notion of identity, of the relationship between self and structure, is not, of course, the invention of either Weimann or this writer. Spanish Verbs 12 terms. For a critical introduction to symbolic interactionism, see Bernard N. Meltzer, John W. Petras, and Larry T. Reynolds, Symbolic Interactionism: Genesis, Varieties, and Criticism (London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975). "Who is it," Lear wonders, "that can tell me who I am?" (Lanham, MD and London: Univ. "Louis Montrose, "Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture," The New Historicism, ed. For Shakespeare the outside world of society is inseparable from what a person's character unfolds as his 'bel~ngings. Press, 1974), p. 55, Lawrence Danson explains that this is "the question . 15-36, 21. l5Frank Lentricchia, "Foucault's Legacy: A New Historicism?" As Bruce Wilshire puts it, "a human being can become itself, its self, only when it makes its own what others have made of it. In an essay that has been widely ignored, Robert Weimann focuses attention on an aspect of Shakespeare's dramatic art that itself has been widely ignored-"the social, as distinct from the psychological, dimension of Shakespeare's characterization."' Charles W. Morris (Chicago and London: Univ. Caius Julius Caesar (100 bc - 44 bc) What is the psychological identity of Caius Julius Caesar , the most notorious Roman statesman and military leader of his time? While contributing much to our understanding of the play, Charney, Mark Van Doren, and L.C. . "Robert B. Heilman, Tragedy and Melodrama: Versions of Experience (Seattle: Univ. It seems safe to say, therefore, that when in discussing this play critics like Knight privilege "love" and personal relationships, they reveal less about the play and more about their own critical biases-the lingering effects of Romanticism or the influence of the new science of psychology. Wilson Knight, The Imperial Theme (London: Methuen, 1965), pp. Espanol 18 terms. Press, 1982), p. 152. "^' Yet the play suggests that for Brutus gentleness is more a requirement of role than a personal quality or a part of his self; Brutus seems to be gentle when the situation is appropriate, when a role demands that he be, as when he acts as friend or as lover. was 'n Romeinse militêre en politieke leier en een van die mees invloedryke figure in die klassieke geskiedenis. jmcgriff3. If, through service and ability, as in Caesar's case, one man rises to think he may subdue the state, to make it rise and fall according only to his effort, the citizenry must deny his challenge (else "Romans are but sheep"). Iulus was the son of the Trojan prince Aeneas, who was believed to be a direct descendant of the goddess Venus. "25 And similarly, Sigurd Burckhardt suggests that we, think of Cassius and Brutus as manifestly they think of them- selves: plotters in the dramatic sense, men who have decided to author and produce a tragedy entitled 'lulius Caesar. 158-60). Brutus realizes that at bottom Cassius's plan does not differ from Caesar's. Despite Cassius's own assessment of their conversation (I.ii.305-19), he does not seduce Brutus into the conspiracy against Caesar. In other words, Brutus accepts the necessity to check his powerful friend only when Caesar's power strains the legal bounds of the Republic, only when Caesar's pursuit of power becomes a matter of honor that is both personal and public. I'll about. Shakespeare's interest, perhaps, is not so much to explore the inner self, to cut to the quick, as to explore the self as it develops within society, as it makes the choices that determine its quality and character. Not only does the twice-announced death of Portia fail to move Brutus but Caesar's ghost comes and goes before Brutus knows what has hit him: "Why, I will see thee at Philippi then. ... identity of some nearby troops. That is because Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by members of his own council. Brutus states that while he would rather not kill Caesar, Caesar’s death is the only way to ensure the well-being of Rome. Getting beyond "the implacable code. When Cassius' slave, Pindarus, mistakenly reports that Titinius has been One possible answer, to invoke a rather prominent cluster of images in the play, is that Brutus misjudges the "healthn of the Republic. My essay aims in part to suggest that such an approach to understanding the individual, such a positive understanding of the role of roles, is useful in discussing Shakespeare's characters. . 105-23, 106. Rather than an inescapable prison, rather than what must be denied, social relations are the ground on which identity is formed; social relations authorize one's identity. 'Terence Eagleton, Shakespeare and Society: Critical Studies in Shakespearean Drama (New York: Schocken Books, 1967), p. 204. Julius Caesar isn’t only a play about political intrigue, but about the internal and domestic struggles that sometimes churn underneath such intrigue. After offering "a brief sampler of alternatives" (p. 56 n. 4), Danson decides that Brutus holds Shakespeare's tragic focus. The relationship between self and society is thus one of (potential) mutual dependence and influence, not one of (necessary) confrontation or determinism. Press of America, 1983), p. 190. Brutus's name is powerful; his reputation as a man of honor, as a man of integrity and probity, is such that, "like richest alchemy," it can turn what would "appear offense" in others "to virtue and to worthiness" (1.iii. Not once in the play does Brutus acquiesce in another's judgment. Thus if in reading or watching a Shakespearean play, one becomes aware, as Lear does, that "unaccommodated man is . *'E.A.J. . They mistake him, however, for the conspirator Cinna and move to assault him. Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar opens with a scene of class conflict, the plebeians versus the tribunes. [I.ii. Winning the war, Caesar became Roman dictator for life. Hugh M. Richmond, however, argues that in this play Shakespeare's interest is not to explore the personal qualities and decisions of any given character but rather to explore a pattern of political success and failure. Personally, Brutus loves Caesar, but he admits here that his loyalty is to the Roman public. of Chicago Press, 1980). 30Honigmann, p. 45. Caesar must die with "his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offenses enforced, for which he suffered death" (III.ii.37-39). 39-46. In Shakespeare's world, as in the sociologist's world, role-playing goes on all the time, and all the world is a stage-although what is enacted is no less serious for it. This bias informs not only the work of modernist critics but also the work of contemporary critics who have read at least some of the sociological literature, such as Philip Edwards, Lawrence Danson, Thomas Van Laan, and Deborah Montuori. Click EDIT to add/edit tags. Yet the critics who have most forcefully pronounced the death of the individual, who have questioned most thoroughly the privilege accorded to interiority by Romantic and modernist criticism, often see only an inescapable prison in those social bands and social bonds. Brutus's decision to murder Caesar cleanly and to spare Antony results not from misjudgment but from clear judgment. "Naomi Conn Liebler, "'Thou Bleeding Piece of Earth': The Ritual Ground ofJulius Caesar," ShakS 14 (1981): 175-96, 193 n. 11. Cassius puts the end of a Republic above the means for its preservation, and so, Brutus must oppose him. Hochschild goes on to argue that like behavior and thought, emotion, too, is subject to standards established by and within a social group. After reading Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann's. "~ may have wished to, For whatever reasons-some uphold the requirements of science, and some, as Eagleton suggests, wished to criticize the alienation they saw attached to industrial capitalism, and still others, as Jonathan Bate and Gary Taylor ~uggest,~. The problem is neither his worth as a man nor the good he has done or even may do for Rome (cf. . . 291 likes. Brutus's second decision, how to murder Caesar, involves an opposition between the role demands of the politician and the requirements of the dominant strand in his identity, of the style that cuts across his various social roles-his honor. In this scene of Act II, Brutus discusses the plot to kill Caesar with the other conspirators. As Louis Montrose explains, "against the beleaguered category of the historical agent, contending armies of Theory now oppose the specters of structural determinism and post-structural contingency. Theodore Mischel (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977), pp. . Investigating the genre identity of William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, first of all, I need to define the terms history play and tragedy, which are key instruments for the analysis. 221n his important discussion of "role distance," found in Encounters: Two Studies in the Sociology of Interaction (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1961), Erving, Goffman observes that "it is common in sociology to study the individual in terms of the conception he and others have of him, and to argue that these conceptions are made available to him through the role that he plays" (p. 132). The Julia family firmly believed that they were relatives of the gods. 'Weimann, p. 23. '"~, Thus although Shakespeare allows many of his characters-heroes and villains alike-to express some sense of separation from roles, from public activity, from definition by the group, he defines character as occurring and developing within and because of a context of others. . The tribunes verbally attack the masses for their fickleness in celebrating the defeat of a man who was once their leader. Yet although Brutus "loves" and "is loved" as much as anyone in the play, the play suggests (and even Knight acknowledges) that Brutus holds aloof in his relationships with other people; he distances himself from these roles he must play.29 "Like Hamlet in his first scene," Honigmann observes, "Brutus shrinks from human contact; but whilst Hamlet welcomes Horatio and the Players and even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Brutus, unless he is cornered, never expresses warmth of feeling when face to face with others.n80. . Along these lines, Frederic K. Hargreaves, Jr., maintains that Wittgenstein's work also "calls into question the traditional view of emotions as private, subjective experiences which are named by emotion words and which give these words their meaning" as it emphasizes "again the fact that reference to private experience must be subject to some public criteria for the words to have meaningn ('The Concept of Private Meaning in Modern Criticism," CritI7, 4 [Summer 19811: 72746, 729, 729-30). shaunaritchey. In the orchard scene, Brutus argues that if murder is necessary to preserve the Republic, it must remain a murder worthy of the victim, the men who would commit it, and the Republic itself. My colleagues Elizabeth Meese, David Lee Miller, and Harold Weber have provided the same and more. Cassius plays the midwife to Brutus's thoughts, a midwife who would bring them into the clear daylight of action: And since you know you cannot see yourself. The problem and its significance to some Fregean projects are explained. and the slippery signifier" requires us to take seriously Weimann's sense that personal autonomy and personal identity are inseparable from social relations and institutions. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, both Calpurnia and Portia are loving wives.Both adore their husbands. In Act II, Brutus continues to reveal his inner struggle between his personal feelings for Caesar and his feelings towards protecting his public. In Brutus's decisions is a rationale that if disastrous is nevertheless quite revealing of his identity. After this Cleopatra had her son Caesarion exiled to conceal his identity as the rightful successor to the crown and to insure … of Washington Press, 1968), pp. Like Knight, the critics assembled in Twentieth-Centuly Interpretations of "Julius Caesar," ed. She writes on the uses of social science in literary criticism and on the issue of class in literary study and the profession, as well as on Shakespeare. He writes that Juliw Caesar "has been described as the tragedy of Brutus, but this is just as much a distortion as to interpret Richard II as the tragedy of its nominally central figure. 60n this issue see Jonathan Bate, Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism, 1730-1830 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) and Gary Taylor, Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present (New York: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1989). Weimann thinks an understanding of this dialectic is essential to our understanding of Shakespeare's art, for "it is only when these two points of reference-the self and the social-are seen as entering into a dynamic and unpredictable kind of relationship that the most original and far-reaching dimension in Shakespeare's conception of character-the dimension of growth and change-can be under~tood."~. He behaves as if what he has rejected- friendship and citizenship-still exist, and in a form enhanced by the shape of honor. It is thus that Brutus feels Caesar must die, and justly (II.i.166- 80), for he would destroy the Republic, the public means of private authorization. [yet] no one in the play seems to see Brutus as a starry-eyed dreamer; indeed his reputation for good sense and proper action makes him trusted by e~eryone.~', Still, it is difficult to imagine a man could argue one minute that one should think of Caesar "as a serpent's egg, / Which, hatched, would as his kind grow mischievousn (II.i.32-33), but be unable in the next minute to apply the same logic to Antony. That is, the conspirators "stand up" not against the particular man, Julius Caesar, a friend and colleague who has a barren wife and the "falling sickness," but against the role itself that he would play, a role that is, one might note, bodiless and bloodless until someone begins to play it, to take it on as his own: And in the spirit of men there is no blood. The tribunes, Marullus and Flavius, break up a gathering of Roman citizens who seek to celebrate Julius Caesars triumphant return from war. According to this view, letting Antony off the hook is either the sad, ironic result of Brutus's idealism or the sad, likely result of his simplicity, an inability to keep up with or to judge the times. equation the privileging of the subject's feelings and consciousness is a relatively recent phenomenon, and second, begin to consider how subjectivity (or autonomy) might be formed when we take into account the subject's location within a social structure, his or her roles, and the rights and obligations associated with them, rather than just his or her feelings and personal consciousness. As Naomi Conn Liebler writes, it reduces Brutus' character to that of a monolithic idealist, completely out of touch with reality, and surely not one with whom to mount a serious political effort. . Reinforced by a century of work in behavioral or psychoanalytic psychology, such an understanding of character or the self originates it seems in the Romantic's emphasis on his individuality; his attempt to assert the judgment of the individual above that of the group; his sense, as Terence Eagleton puts it, that "real living. Honigmann, Shakespeare: Seven Tragedies (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1976), p. 41. Cassius, remember, first approaches Brutus by bluntly telling him, I have not from your eyes that gentleness, You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand, Brutus replies that, confused as he is by "passions of some differencen (line 40) and finding that he is "with himself at warn (line 46), he "Forgets the shows of love to other menn (line 47). Yet if Brutus desires to preserve the Republic, one must, it seems, question as Cassius does his judgment that only Caesar be killed. . More recently, Honigmann claims that Brutus "saves Antony, as he murders Caesar, thinking too much of Brutus-his own reputation, his own style-and this distracts his judgement and corrupts it" (p. 33). He hopes that his good friends will not "be grievedn at his inappropriate (role) behavior (line 43).28, In a similar vein, G. Wilson Knight holds that in Julius Caesar "love is . Brutus is the character in Juliw Caesar who is so tested. At other times, one only goes through the motions in a role society provides, and thus distances oneself from it, since it expresses a part of self only poorly.
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