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Need some explanation on some stuff about Julius Caesarwritten by sreule: Your second...

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tmax | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 21, 2009 at 9:19 AM via web

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Need some explanation on some stuff about Julius Caesar

written by sreule:

Your second body paragraph could discuss the commoners' influence upon the politicians.

1) In Act 2 when the main strategizing takes place by the conspirators, they discuss how killing one person or getting specific senators to join their plot would be perceived by the plebians.  For example, they decide not to kill Antony because of the possible frenzied reaction by the commoners.

2) Another example is Brutus placing so  many speaking stipulations upon Marc Antony's funeral speech in order for him to be able to speak.

For the first point i really need the exact Act,Scene,Line and some explanation on why they did that and for the second point i do not get it at all so some explanation for the 2 points will be a great deal of help for me.

Tagged with julius caesar, literature

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disney353 | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Question 1

Brutus overrule Cassius when he suggests that they assassinate Antony along with Caesar. This position, like all of Brutus’s actions, stems from a concern for public opinion: Brutus wants the death of Caesar to appear an honorable gesture; if the scheme became too violent, the conspirators would sacrifice any semblance of honor. (Act 2 scene 1)

He insists rather excessively on preserving honor in the conspiracy, saying that in a noble cause one has no need to swear an oath to others: “Do not stain / The even virtue of our enterprise, / Nor th’insuppressive mettle of our spirits, / To think that or our cause or our performance / Did need an oath” (II.i.131–135). Men swear oaths only when they doubt the strength of each other’s devotion; to take up oaths now would be to insult the current undertaking and the men involved. 

 

Question 2

(Act 3, Scene 1)Brutus tells Antony not to beg for death, saying that although their hands appear bloody, their hearts have been, and continue to be, full of pity; although they must appear to him now as having acted in cruelty, their actual motives stemmed from sympathy and love for the Roman populace. Brutus tells Antony to wait until the conspirators have calmed the multitude; then they will explain fully why they have killed Caesar. Antony says he does not doubt their wisdom and shakes each of their bloody hands.

Cassius tells Brutus that Antony will surely move the people against them if he is allowed to speak. Brutus replies that he will preface Antony’s words, explaining to the public the reason for the conspirators’ deed, and then explain that Antony has been allowed to speak only by Brutus’s consent. He believes that the people will admire his magnanimity for allowing Antony, a friend of Caesar’s, to take part in the funeral, and that the episode will benefit the conspiracy’s public image. Cassius remains displeased, but Brutus allows Antony to take Caesar’s body, instructing him to speak well of them since they are doing him a favor by permitting him to give the oration.

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