Julius Caesar And Henry V Character Analysis

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In two of Shakespeare's most notable historical plays, namely, Julius Caesar and Henry V it can be observed that the characters with the most power, or the greatest potential to obtain and exploit the power they yield, are also the most idealistic characters in the play. In other words, there is a correlation between the decisional power and influence a character has and the level of idealism with which they see their surroundings. Idealism is the unrealistic belief in or pursuit of perfection. Often, the fall of a play’s tragic hero is due to hubris, however in Julius Caesar it is rather his disproportionate amount of idealism that eventually brings Brutus to downfall. This directly contrasts with Henry V because, although being an idealist…show more content…
Caesar remains an idealistic character until his very last breath. His last words "Et tu Brute?" show his strong belief in Brutus not only as a friend but also as a supporter of the Roman Republic. Caesar has the desire “to be crowned King and to replace the republic with a monarchy” . The audience catch a first glimpse of this desire when in Act I Scene 1 "he [is] offered a crown [...] and each time he [puts] it by, gentler than the…show more content…
However they have another link that makes them similar in character which is their weakness to the women they love. In the words of Emma Smith they are "two-dimensional" . This symbolises the fact that these characters adopt a different stance of opinion, belief and more importantly action according to whom they are surrounded by. These attitudes, namely the public and private selves, can be noticed both in Caesar and Brutus when they appear to be more submissive towards their wives. For example in Act II Scene 2 upon hearing about Calpurnia’s dream of his murder Caesar decides that “for [her] humour [he] will stay home. Brutus and his relations to Portia do not greatly differ from Caesar’s and Calpurnia’s relationship. Alongside Caesar and Brutus, Henry V in Act V Scene 2, during his courtship to Katherine, exposes the audience to a gentler and more delicate aspect of himself which contrasts the powerful, strong-minded being previously portrayed. This can be seen at the very beginning of his talk with Katherine where he says “Marry, if you were to put me to verses […] Kate, why you undid me”. The very fact that he is admitting to being uneasy and that this phrase and the lines which follow it are all in prose illustrate his incapability of developing a conversation with a woman he is infatuated by. When both plays were written and

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