Why does Caesar now want the kingly crown when he had thrice refused it on the Lupercal?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is no doubt that Caesar is ambitious and wants to be crowned king. In Act 1.2 Casca, a sharp observer and a realist, tells Cassius and Brutus about how Antony had just offered Caesar the so-called crown: "...yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of those coronets--and as i told you he put it by once; but for all that, to my thinking he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again--but to my thinking he was very loath to lay his fingers off it." Later, Caesar goes to the Senate in spite of his wife's begging him to stay home because of her dream and in spite of the soothsayer's warning to beware the Ides of March. Even the augurers warned him against going to the Senate. ("They would not have you to stir forth today.") Caesar had only refused the coronet on the Lupercal because he wanted to appear humble, modest, and democratic, and because he well knew that he could always have it offered to him again. Furthermore, he wanted the crown to be conferred by the Senate, not by a mob of commoners. Evidently, there is no doubt that he would have been offered rulership by the Senate the day he was assassinated, and he knew it.


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