Theme Of Loyalty In Julius Caesar

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Loyalty in “Julius Caesar”
Within “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, differing types of loyalty are thoroughly dissected and debated. Loyalty is a strong feeling of allegiance. Shakespeare employs different examples of loyalty to affect his characters’ judgement and decision-making. Loyalty to friends is being faithful and devoted to an individual, whereas loyalty to one’s country is doing what is right for the well being of a country and civilians. When Brutus takes the last stab into Caesar, Caesar says, “Et tu, Bruté.” (3.1.85) as he falls dead. Caesar’s last words mean, “And you, Brutus.” and reflects the depth of betrayal Caesar feels watching his “best friend” stab him. The reality of this quote is that humans have different universes
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He is devoted and utterly selfless for the good of his country. For instance, Brutus stabs Caesar because he is tricked into thinking that the citizens fear Caesar. Keeping this in mind, Brutus kills Caesar to satisfy and ease his people, demonstrating that he prioritizes his country over his friendship with Caesar. Though Brutus ended Caesar’s life, Brutus still holds some loyalty to friends and says, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved/ Rome more.” (3.2.50-60) Brutus’ words emphasize his devotion to his country above Caesar. He is exceptionally passionate about his beloved Rome, trumping his love for Caesar. As another example of his allegiance, Brutus says, “Brutus had rather be a villager/ Than to repute himself a son of Rome/ Under these hard conditions as this time.” (1.2.181-183) In essence, this quote implies that the depths of Brutus’ loyalty for Rome is fathomless enough to make him utterly selfless and give up his power for the sake of Rome. His righteous philosophy has strengthened his loyalty to his country, developing his selflessness. Unfortunately, Cassius uses Brutus’ altruistic characteristic and devout loyalty against him by sending fake letters with concerns regarding the crowning of Caesar for Brutus to read and be persuaded to join the conspirators. Cassius’ manipulation of Brutus serves as an example of how Shakespeare…show more content…
Additionally, he adds fickleness in characters, resulting in loyalties that constantly change and individual universes of obligations for each character to support the theme. A prime example of shifting loyalties and fickleness is when the plebeians say, “This Caesar was a tyrant.” (3.3.76) to “ O noble Caesar!” (3.2.211) From before and during Antony’s speech, the plebeians have switched their loyalties from Brutus to Caesar. In contrast, Shakespeare’s Brutus steadily prioritizes loyalty to his country, and Antony maintains his vow of loyalty to Caesar. Nevertheless, both characters would benefit from rethinking where their loyalty should lie when a situation changes. Antony’s making of a civil war is a perfect example of a situation where one should be versatile and put the good of others before one’s loyalty to a single friendship. Different situations may also bring up conflicts of values and also stress the need to decide which value to be true to. For instance, a real life situation could be telling the police about a friend planning a school shooting. One might be a loyal friend and not want to snitch or lose their friendship, but one should prioritize the fact that people will die if not reported. In this type of situation, one should choose loyalty for the good of others ahead of the friend and tell the police. If situations that challenge loyalties come up, we must
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