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Conflicting Perspectives in Julius Caesar Essay


Conflicting perspectives appear within both texts individually and inter-textually. These perceptions evidently polarize common ideologies emitted, which through comparison, the responder can react and conclude profound individual responses. Shakespeares dramatic play, Julius Caesar presents a variety of perspectives that clash, providing deeper understandings of the text. A contrasting textual form to the play, the historical account Life of Brutus by Plutarch presents a far more objective view as the intentions and features of the text are distinct. Spielbergs film Munich parallels with Julius Caesar, allowing the audience to understand differing reactions to similar situations, enforcing a deeper thought pattern into thematic concepts.

In Julius Caesar Shakespeare manipulates the perspectives of Brutus and the Plebians on the assassination of Caesar, portraying that blood will have blood (Macbeth). Brutus motives of killing Caesar is euphemized through juxtaposition of binary opposite consequences in the rhetorical question in his funeral speech, have you rather Caesar living, and die all slaves than Caesar were dead to live all freemen? This illuminates the good nature and reasoning behind the assassination, intending to create an image of nobility and patriotism. This is immediately conflicted with the dramatic and ferocious reactions of the Plebians created by Shakespeare through the use of high modality language in exclamatory statements such as O traitors, Villains! // Revenge! Burn! Seek! Fire! Kill! These cumulatively listed images of destruction conflicts the reaction of understanding and respect intended from Brutus speech. These distinct perspectives have ultimately accentuated the violence that has risen from the assassination, as the blood revealed from one deed has led to blood being shed in another.

The parallels from Spielbergs film Munich can be observed in order to maintain this thesis that blood begets blood. Like Shakespeare, Spielberg conflicts the motives of the characters of Avner and the Ephraim within the parameters of war. Avners intentions are denoted in a close up camera shot of Avners disgusted facial expression when he foreshadows in his dialogue, Every man we killed, has been replaced by worse. There is no peace at the end of this. Avners doubt on the reasonings of war is presented in this perception, that war is futile and ineffective in solving disputes. This perception contrasts greatly to an earlier phrase, where a low angle, close up camera shot focuses on the character of Ephraims hostile face. Paradoxical and collective, the phrase We kill for peace polarizes the purpose of war and in fact facades hostilities as a means of creating peace. Through comparing these two perceptions on the purpose of combat and the ultimate outcomes, the responder can reason that even with sound intentions, blood eventually begets blood. Furthermore, the character of Avner parallels to Brutus, where the two nationalist motives aiming for the establishment of justice leads to the destruction of humanity. These consequences again emphasize the inevitability of carnage from sadistic roots.

Julius Caesar and Munich both explore the concept of public duty subduing ones personal and private life. Spielberg conflicts the perspectives of the character of Hans throughout the film. In an earlier instance where Hans is faced with the task of assassinating a victim, a series of close up camera shots are placed saliently on Hans apathetic eyes. Spielberg then utilizes a dramatic pause and then a diegetic sound of the gunshot. This apathetic and hesitant behavior of Hans exemplifies his discomfort experienced whilst attempting to fulfill his public duty as an assassin. Throughout the film, a conflicting change occurs in Hans, when he exclaims the truncated sentence, Leave it! when met with an opportunity to sanctify a womans dead body. A mid shot of the victims vulnerably nude body reveals not only the death of the woman, but the death of her humanity. This act of such moral brutality portrays Hans new, conflicting perceptions on the morals of executions, exemplifying the dominance of public duty over intrapersonal stability.

Shakespeare compares the perspectives of public and private life through the interpretations of the character of Julius Caesar, a leader with a public duty on a larger scale to that of a country civilian, Hans. Shakespeare juxtaposes public and personal interpretations by Decius and Calpurnia respectively, of omens appearing in Calpurnias dream. Calpurnias perspective of these dreams is expressed through the use of emotive language in O Caesar and I do fear them. This is infused with the cumulative listing of dark symbols of superstitious instabilities and the assonance in shriek and streets Ghosts did shriek about the streets emphasizing an eerie atmosphere. This inevitably evokes a perspective of sorrow and worrisome woes for the safety of Caesar. Dissimilarly, an opposite interpretation in Decius twists these omens into a celebratory symbol of Caesars triumph. Shakespeare euphemizes the dreams via the extended metaphor of blood and high modality language in Statue spouting blood in which smiling Romans bathed and Rome shall suck your reviving blood. This renders the dream as one of good omens to Caesars success. Caesar abides with this public influence of Brutus, denying his personal relationship with his wife, Calpurnia. Like Munich, Shakespeare portrays the domination of public duty on ones private life. When comparing the ranks of Caesar and Hans in their respective societies, it can be seen that public duty renders the intrapersonal entity regardless of the size of the national obligation.

Another text that conflicts with Julius Caesar is Plutarchs historical account, Life of Brutus. These conflicting perspectives however arise from the contrasting intentions originating from their respective text types. In Julius Caesar for example, Shakespeare provides an in depth characterization of Brutus creating not just a character, but a personality that can interpersonally connect with the audience. Shakespeare employs a soliloquy and quantifies it with emotive language and personal pronouns for example, I know no personal cause to spurn and O Rome, I make thee promise. This presents Brutus as a mortal human being with sentimental thoughts. Furthermore Brutus is portrayed as a flawed being through the dramatic irony created by Cassius, in the imperative statement take this [letter] where Brutus may but find it. Shakespeare than presents Brutus reading these forged letters filled with the recurring motifs of action, Speak, strike, redress! portraying his manipulation. With Julius Caesar taking on the text type of a play, it is noticeable to see why Brutus would need such a mortal personality, as such a portrayal releases dramatic tension and emotions to the audience and as the Shakespearean tragedies do, allows Brutus to have a fatal flaw.

Through observing another text type in the historical account, Life of Brutus, it can be seen that Brutus is in fact being portrayed as an immortal being without an established character compared to Shakespeares humanized and mortal representation. Plutarch presents this image of a powerful and historically renowned man by dehumanizing Brutus as titles such as elder Brutus of his fathers side and nephew of Cato. Additionally, Plutarch maintains an objective tone throughout the biographical account and presents direct quotations such as defend my country and die for liberty. This creates a god-like imagery of Brutus, swaying him to immortal ranks. Plutarchs account presents such an immortal Brutus, as historical accounts do not need characterization, but merely objective information that will position and improve Brutus reputation. Through analyzing these mortal versus immortal perspectives of Brutus, the responder is aided in realizing Shakespeares manipulation of the story, emphasizing his intentions in relaying the concept of the fatal flaw of naivety from humility.

Through analyzing a variety of texts, it can be concluded that conflicting perspectives arise both between texts and internally within texts. Through studying and paralleling common ideologies through the texts, a thorough understanding of these concepts can be obtained, as conflicting perspectives polarizes such ideas allowing for opinions and realizations to rise. Whether it be the conflicting interpretations of dreams in Julius Caesar. Whether it be conflicts within Hans mind in Munich or perhaps the inter-textual conflict with Plutarch and Shakespeare, immortal vs. mortal. Composers produce conflicting perspectives, driven by signature techniques relevant to their respective text types that polarize and influence perspective to the responders that too, may conflict with one another.

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