What similarities in leadership qualities do you see between any of the characters in Act 1 of Julius Caesar?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I do not think any of the characters in Act 1 show similar styles of leadership for one thrust of this introduction to the main characters is to provide an array of styles of leadership as well as men. Cassius is shrewd and has the power to convince others. He immediately distinguishes himself from Brutus, right in their first conversation, when he shows concern about how “troubled” Brutus looks of late and offers to interpret his problems (1.2.43-52). Brutus says he is introspective and quiet (43-45), adding immediately “I love the name of honor more than I fear death” (95-96). Cassius would never say this, and neither would Casca, who does what Cassius tells him to do. Cassius talks about doing what is best for Rome, but his manipulation of Brutus indicates he is a more savvy politician than any other character on the stage. As for Caesar, we see him give orders, express valid worries about Cassius, talk to a soothsayer.  Antony so far appears to be a good friend and confidant of Caesar, showing, in this Act, no traits of leadership. Perhaps Cassius and Caesar resemble each other more than any two, for just as Caesar fears that “Cassius has a lean and hungry look” (204), so Cassius thinks Caesar is weak because of his disease (1.2.120-135) and ambitious (143-145). This distrust drives the plot forward, although Caesar ultimately does nothing to act on his intuition concerning Cassius for Antony, wrongly, says Cassius is harmless (1.2. 206-07)


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