Julius Caesar Act II:

 

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Question:

Cassius has said that Caesar thinks of himself as a god.Brutus has said that Caesar is ambitious. Are there any signs in Act 2 scene 2 that one , or both , of these judgments is/are accurate? 

 
[Source: Heinemann Shakespeare Julius Caesar]
 
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About Words Infinitum- A Teacher's Haven

Am I a bird for Maya Angelou? If yes, why do I and so many of you around me feel caged? why not free? Am I a free spirit, then?If yes, then why don't I locate my limits? Because I can see I have lost the way. The quest for enlightenment is taking me acknowledge just Him ..and this strife just becomes so rewarding and so assuringly peaceful when I see myself having adopted His favourite occupation- the one he designated to his prophets. What is obstructing this self -actualization?
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8 Responses to Julius Caesar Act II:

  1. Marium Zaidi says:

    This scene emphasizes the many grave signs portending Caesar’s death, as well as his stubborn refusal to heed them. Tragically Caesar no longer sees the difference between his powerful image and his vulnerable human body, even at home in his dressing gown he assumes the persona of of “Caesar” the great man who knows no fear. Although his ego makes him suspect that the omens are intended for him and the priests gave advice to him that he must go to increasingly ridiculous interpretive lengths to reconcile the mounting supernatural evidences but since this would conflict his belief that he is invincible, he rejected the idea which signifies that Caesar think of himself as god due to his firm belief on his invincibility. On the other hand there are some signs which proves that Caesar is ambitious as when Decius disputes Calpurnia’s interpretation by saying that actually the dream signifies that the Romans will gain lifeblood from the strength of Caesar. He confides that the senate has decided to crown Caesar that day, but if Caesar were to stay at home, the senators might change their minds. Moreover, Caesar would lose public regards if he is perceived as so easily swayed by a woman which underscores the masculinity of Roman culture. In this scene Caesar seems to long for power and for the crown which highlights that he is ambitious.

  2. kashaf asim says:

    Cassius has said before that Caesar considers himself as a god. His keen observation is shown in Act 2 Scene 2 from lines 10-12, ‘Caesar shall forth. The things that threaten’d me, Ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see, The face of Caesar they are vanished.’

    1. Through these lines, the readers can observe that Caesar addresses himself in the third person which is seen as a proud person.

    2. Already Caesar is speaking as a royal person even though he hasn’t been crowned yet which shows that he appears to be showing a sign of ambition. Caesar is very confident as through these lines readers observe that Caesar is anticipating his crowning. (Corrects Brutus’s interpretation of Caesar’s character as well)

    3. ‘The face of Caesar they are vanished.’ This line appears to show a sign of arrogance and also confirms Cassius’s believes that Caesar thinks himself as very superior.

    4. The connotations seen in this passage are, self-assurance, self-respect, proud, and self-confidence. All these appear to confirm the believes of Cassius and Brutus.

  3. sinm96 says:

    Yes, both the comments done on the character of Caesar are starting to reflect the predictions made by both the men. In Act 2 scene 2 Caesar’s action prove both the judgments on many cases.

    1. In the very beginning Caesar uses his own name to refer to himself. This shows the pride in the tone of Caesar which is very similar to the same used by rulers and kings. This proves Cassius’ judgement of Caesar and shows that he has started to think himself beyond an ordinary human being and something more divine.

    2. His pride is also portrayed through his belief of being somewhat immune to all those who oppose him. Caesar denies Calpurnia’s nightmare and says ” Caesar shall go forth. The things that threaten’d me/ Ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see/ The face of Caesar they are vanished.” He believes that he is too strong and has the God-like attribute of being immortal.

    3. In lines 27-30 the readers get the first hint which can be related to the the nature of Caesar Brutus had foresaw. It gives the show of Caesar’s ambitious nature Brutus had feared. The lines “What can be avoided/ Whose end is purpos’d by the mighty gods?/ Yet Caesar shall go forth…”
    These dialogues show that Caesar is eager to attain the power that would be vested through the crowning and fears nothing that stands before him and the power.

    4. In another place Caesar has personified Danger and has compared himself with it. Using the metaphor that both of them were two lion cubs among whom Caesar is the elder and naturally more powerful, he does not fear the threat is possesses and again this shows both the ambition and the god-like thinking of Caesar.

    5.The entire scene although depicts the conflict between Caesar and Calpurnia but on the background shows the flaws in Caesar’s character which have started to show up as we near the Ides of March (foretold by the Soothsayer Act 1) and the coronation.

  4. Ameema says:

    Answer:
    • Act II scene II foreshadows the flaw in Caesar’s character, and reflects the judgments made by Brutus and Cassius earlier in the play.

    • Cassius has previously highlighted that Caesar thinks of himself as a God, from lines10-12 (Caesar shall forth…vanished). He refers to himself as a third person, which depicts arrogance in his tone; Caesar is not convinced to believe that any opposition can harm him-a further sign of pride.

    • Lines 27-30 (What can be avoided…as to Caesar), arrogance and self assurance, he denies Calpurnia’s dream for being an omen of danger. Reminds the audience that Brutus’s prediction of Caesar being ambitious was correct, has a strong desire for power.

    • Lines 32-33 (cowards die…but once), use of dramatic irony by Shakespeare. Reflects courage, bravery and also takes back the audience to the idealist character of Brutus who also values death rather than cowardice.

    • Lines 42-43, calls himself as a ‘beast without a heart.’ Lines 44-48, personifies danger and again speaks of himself as a third person, sign of pride, haughtiness, as depicted by Cassius.

    • Line 66 (Shall…lie?) pride.

  5. Marium Zaidi says:

    This scene emphasizes the many grave signs portending Caesar’s death, as well as his stubborn refusal to heed them. Tragically Caesar no longer sees the difference between his powerful image and his vulnerable human body, even at home in his dressing gown he assumes the persona of of “Caesar” the great man who knows no fear. Although his ego makes him suspect that the omens are intended for him and the priests gave advice to him that he must go to increasingly ridiculous interpretive lengths to reconcile the mounting supernatural evidences but since this would conflict his belief that he is invincible, he rejected the idea which signifies that Caesar think of himself as god due to his firm belief on his invincibility. On the other hand there are some signs which proves that Caesar is ambitious as when Decius disputes Calpurnia’s interpretation by saying that actually the dream signifies that the Romans will gain lifeblood from the strength of Caesar. He confides that the senate has decided to crown Caesar that day, but if Caesar were to stay at home, the senators might change their minds. Moreover, Caesar would lose public regards if he is perceived as so easily swayed by a woman which underscores the masculinity of Roman culture. In this scene Caesar seems to long for power and for the crown which highlights that he is ambitious.

  6. Faiza says:

    Act ii scene ii proves Cassius’ and Brutus’ claims about Caesar true. From the beginning of the scene we can see Caesar talk in third person, often referring to himself by name, “Caesar shall forth” and “The face of Caesar they are vanished”. This is proof of his pride and self assurance which is at levels on par with god. Caesar uses a commanding and royal tone which provides further evidence for Brutus’ claim about Caesar being ambitious, also in Caesar’s dialogue (line 41-48) Caesar equates himself to danger not only does this reinforce the idea of Caesar being Colossus’ underling, but it also brings into play Brutus’ earlier soliloquy about how Caesar may change and bring about harm if given power. This is clearly to happen as Caesar says “And I the elder and more terrible”. Additional to that Calpurnia says to Caesar “Your wisdom is consum’d in confidence.” This is similar to Brutus’ remark “when affections sway’d more than his reason”. Caesar feels that after all that he has done for the roman public he deserves to be crowned, his plans are apparent and his ambition is reflected when he tends to believe Decius’ interpretation of Calpurnia’s dream rather than her own, just because the former is more in favor of his ambitious plans.

  7. Hamza Anwar says:

    The judgements rendered by both men can be justified, to what extent however that is debatable, in Act II Scene II there are several instances, where Caesar displays signs of being an arrogant and egotistical narcissist. This is trait is repeatedly displayed by his referral of himself in the third person, he also displays mild egocentrism as he refuses the consul of his wife and proceeds to shrug off her concerns claiming God like immunity and omnipotence. Furthermore Caesars since of self worth has ballooned, as hit becomes more and more apparent that his thirst for power reaches unquenchable heights. Ergo the judgements produced by Brutus and Cassius stand true.

  8. durenayab says:

    There are quite a few instances in Act II Scene II which prove that the claims of both, Cassius and Brutus hold true to some extent. These include Caesar referring to himself in third person, his own self-assuring analysis of the omens associated with the entrails of the sacrificial animal and his saying that he was more dangerous than ‘Danger’ itself. Moreover, Caesar after listening to Decius’s interpretation of the dream refuses to pay further heed to his wife’s warnings and protests because it is more in line with his plan to be crowned king. All these events imply that Caesar did think he was invulnerable and all-mighty and begins to show signs of a pompous tyrant.

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