Is Julius Caesar a Tragedy: Essay

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Not only one factor is to blame for the tragic death of Caesar, but his death also happened due to a combination of factors and fate. These factors include Caesar’s personal faults- how he could have avoided his own death, Cassius’ cruelty- how he convinced Brutus and the rest of the conspirators to kill Caesar, the misguided conspirators who were the ones who did directly kill him, and fate, which due to all the omens, did have some part to play in Caesar's death.

Although it might seem unlikely that someone could be responsible for their own death, Caesar definitely was partly to blame for his own downfall. While he evidently could not have physically killed himself, his actions did contribute to his death. Of course two of the main reasons also have to do with fate- the first being how Caesar ignored the warnings of the soothsayer. In the first act, scene one, the soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March” but Caesar ignores his warnings. In this scenario, Caesar might have been able to avoid his death by taking precautions on that particular day. However, he did not- he chose to ignore the soothsayer by saying “He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass”. Again, Caesar got another warning, this time on the Ides of March from his wife, Calpurnia. In act 2, scene 2, Calpurnia dreamt that Caesar’s statue poured out pure blood and Romans were rejoicing over his death. Calpurnia tried to warn her husband and convince him not to leave the security of his home; she wanted him to stay protected so the horrible events she dreamt of would not come true. Unsurprisingly, Caesar did not listen to his wife’s pleas for him to stay and of course, Caesar left and got murdered. Nevertheless, these reasons could equally be the blame of fate as well as Caesar. Perhaps, these omens were inevitable- Caesar did die on the exact day that the soothsayer warned him about- the ides of march, which was the 15th of March. Along with this omen, Calpurnia’s dream was an exact vision of how Caesar died. Therefore, fate definitely took part in the death of Caesar because the omens might have come true no matter the scenario. Yet, as well as fate, Caesar also had an equal part to blame for his own death and that is only because of not taking precautions against these omens.

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In addition to the blame of fate and Caesar himself, the conspirators were one of the biggest factors for his death and really, were the most to blame for his downfall. Certainly, the main reason was that they were the ones who did physically stab Caesar. Despite having their reasoning for it, they still did commit his murder. It is even correct to say that Caesar would still be alive if it were not for the conspirators. Furthermore, not only did they stab him, but the conspirators were the ones who turned against Caesar. They believed that Caesar was too ambitious- in an even more dangerous way. They argued that he was a danger to Rome. Because of this, they collectively decided that because he was too ambitious to lead, they would have to take him out. An additional cause as to why the conspirators were to blame is the fault of Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators against Caesar. One particular example is on the day Caesar gets killed. This blame does not have to do with the actual stabbing, instead, what really led Caesar to his death. As previously mentioned, Calpurnia, the wife of Caesar had a dream of her husband dying. Because she did not want her vision to occur, she insisted on him staying home. At first, Caesar agreed with Calpurnia to make her feel comforted but when Decius came to retrieve Caesar he found out that he was not going to attend the senate house. Decius, knowing that he couldn't let this happen because Caesar was supposed to get killed that day, convinced Caesar to not stay home. He convinced him that Calpurnia’s dream was all interpreted wrong. Caesar’s statue spouting blood meant in fact “…that great Rome will suck Life-giving blood from you, and that great men will come to you For honors and souvenirs to remember you by…” as Decius put it (Act 2, scene 2). If Decius had not done this, Caesar may have been safe.

The death of Caesar has more factors than just the knife- it also came from the betrayal of the conspirators. Nevertheless, the whole plan came from none other than Cassius. Out of all the different factors contributing to Caesar's death, he was no doubt the most to blame. Cassius is the one who convinced all the conspirators to join him in his plan. Along with the convincing of the conspirators also comes Brutus who, being one of the conspirators, did have quite a part to play in Caesar’s death but Cassius is the one responsible for Brutus' betrayal in the first place. This is simply because he used trickery and even manipulation to get Brutus on his side. A prime example of this is in act 2 scene 1 where Cassius writes fake letters to Brutus telling him how much all the people of Rome love and respect him. In one he writes “Brutus, you are asleep. Wake up, and see yourself! Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, right a wrong! Brutus, you are asleep. Wake up!”. Furthermore, Cassius only used Brutus as a tool because he was respected. Cassius makes Brutus believe that he is much better than Caesar yet Cassius might not really believe this and could be only using his convincing words to get Brutus on his side. Therefore, as the one who developed the whole plan to kill Caesar and lead Rome himself, Cassius really does play a big role in Caesar's death.

In conclusion, one highlighted point is who had the biggest part to play and this is definitely Cassius. But, it is simply impossible for only one factor to be the blame for Caesar's death. Each component had a different and vital part to play in Caesar’s death. Just like a puzzle, the end result would not be possible without each piece. Of course, it is also impossible to know whether the puzzle would still be complete without a couple of pieces, but based on how each factor impacted the tragedy, this was a puzzle of many pieces- some bigger than others but all of them nevertheless important.

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Is Julius Caesar a Tragedy: Essay. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
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