Julius Caesar Arrogance

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First performed in 1599, the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare has remained one of the greatest works of literature to this day. The play, initially published in 1623, has since been reproduced in numerous formats, including movies, reenactments, and publications. Along with Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s most tremendous works. In fact, just like Romeo and Juliet, thousands of high school and college students throughout the United States read Julius Caesar each year. As a result of the play’s popularity, the Ides of March, the day on which Caesar was murdered, have become cemented in pop culture, similar to that of Friday the thirteenth. Contrary to the play’s title, its plot surrounds…show more content…
All great leaders need to have the confidence and determination to speak their minds and effectively guide a group. However, many confident leaders allow their confidence and determination to become arrogance and an inability to compromise. This kind of mental inflexibility can ruin an otherwise great leader, because communication, compromise, and team work are essential to a good leadership. President Gerald Ford once said, “Compromise is the oil that makes governments go,” and mental inflexibility, or stubbornness, prevent the possibility of compromise. One of the best examples of the effects of an inflexible mind set is Julius Caesar. Caesar was quite a capable leader, because he had confidence, determination, the ability to judge character, and he worked for the public good. However, Caesar let his popularity and confidence turn him into an arrogant and stubborn leader. Caesar himself shamelessly tells the senators that he will not change his mind in his “North Star” speech (3. 1. 59-73). In it Caesar says, “I am as constant as the northern star” (3. 1. 61). By comparing himself to the North Star, an object which always has the same position in the sky, Caesar tells the senators that he believes he is physically incapable of being wrong. Caesar then goes on to say that lifting the mountains of Olympus, the…show more content…
Brutus, does not have the arrogant stubbornness of Caesar, rather he makes authoritative decisions without regard to other opinions. His unwillingness to compromise can be seen in the why he assumes command and makes decisions once becoming a member of the conspirators. Immediately after enlisting in the conspiracy Brutus, who was not elected leader, aggressively takes command of the conspiracy and makes a series of decisions despite differing opinions from every other member of the group. In Act II Scene 1, the conspiracy gathers together to plot their attack on Caesar, and Brutus immediately takes command. The group asks if they should swear an oath, have Cicero join the conspiracy, or kill Mark Antony. In each case, Brutus rejects every suggestion proposed by the group. For example, when the group proposes to invite Cicero Brutus replies, “Oh name him not. Let us not break with him [confide in him]” (2. 1. 150). Similarly, once the conspirators have killed Caesar, Brutus makes several more dangerous decisions despite opposition from other conspirators. Cassius, the original leader of the conspirators, sincerely begs Brutus not to let Mark Antony, one of Caesar’s closest friends, speak, but Brutus does not yield to Cassius’ plea. Then when Cassius and Brutus are preparing their armies to fight Antony,
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