[Stirling discusses the significance of ritual and ceremony to the thematic design of Julius Caesar. According to the critic, the play is structured around a central ceremonial rite—Brutus's attempt to raise Caesar's assassination to the level of formal sacrifice. Nearly every scene prior to Caesar's murder, Stirling asserts, features a ceremony, which is then followed by a counter-ritual mocking it. The effect of these satirical scenes, the critic argues, is to reveal Brutus's self-deception in thinking he can purify Caesar's assassination through...
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