Stoicism And Epicureanism In Julius Caesar

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In the Story of the great Julius Caesar by Shakespeare there are two philosophies which include Stoicism and Epicureanism. Two characters that clearly stand by their beliefs are Brutus and Cassius. However before being explained, what is Stoicism and Epicureanism anyways? First off, what is Stoicism? Stoicism is a school that was founded in medieval times, it is a way of life for Brutus. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain. (Merriam-Webster) On the other hand Epicureanism is a school that taught very differently. Those who were taught believed that mental…show more content…
In William Shakespeare’s drama Julius Caesar, the protagonist is Marcus Brutus. His decisions are based on his personal philosophy of stoicism as stoics try not to be influenced by their emotions. Examples of Brutus showing his stoicism include when Brutus tells the audience that he loves Caesar although this does not stop him from making the choice to kill him. Stoics believe that a person must make his own decisions based on logic and reasoning, which is why he didn’t let his feelings for Julius stop him from “saving” Rome. Although Brutus and Cassius are partners in killing Julius, Cassius was really using Brutus to gain power and later turn on him. Cassius is obviously not a stoic. Throughout the play, Cassius shows his emotions at every turn. During the storm, he bares his chest and tells the gods to let the lightning strike him if he is not making the right decision. Cassius despises Caesar. He has seen Caesar at his most vulnerable and found him lacking. Cassius saves the life of Caesar, sees him beg for water, and witnesses his epileptic seizure. From these weaknesses, Cassius finds himself to be just as worthy of the crown as is Caesar. His reasons are emotionally tied to getting rid of Caesar, Brutus chooses to become a conspirator for the good of Rome. He does not know how Caesar will use his power. During the Act 1, Scene ii, Brutus tells the audience that he loves Caesar and has never seen him misuse his power. Brutus makes his judgment based on possibilities and not
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