Mr. Alain Gauthier
November 8th 2018
Julius Caesar Essay
According to Oxford Dictionaries, an antagonist is a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something. In Williams Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Cassius is the main antagonist. He is throughout the play, the one who is the most hostile against the idea of Julius Caesar becoming king of Rome. He is the driving force behind the conspiracy and the murder of Caesar. But Unlike Brutus and the other conspirators who are against the idea of Caesar making Rome a monarchy, Cassius’s motives are more personal. He also used Brutus, one of Julius Caesar’s best friend as a rival against him.
To begin with, Cassius is the one who’s the most disapproving of Julius Caesar becoming king of Rome and he is also the driving force behind the conspiracy. Julius Caesar with the play being named after him is undoubtedly the central figure in the play. His main opponent in the play has to be Cassius. It all starts when Caesar returns from his fight with Pompey with the commoners celebrating his victory. At the Lupercal festival, Cassius starts by telling Brutus that he’s not a fan of Caesar becoming an emperor.
‘‘Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.’’(1.2 135-138)
Basically, Cassius tells Brutus that he doesn’t feel that Julius Caesar deserves the merit to be the leader of Rome, and that he fears Caesar would take advantage of his power to do harmful things if he ever became king. Cassius is comparing Julius Caesar to a Colossus, an immense statue of Apollo which crossed the harbor entrance of Rhodes, and was big enough to let ships sailed under its legs. ‘‘It was so big that few people can get their hand around its thumb.’’(Pliny the elder quoted in Smith) Cassius is referencing Caesar’s growing power and with the romans cheering up for the latter he thinks that if Caesar becomes king that him, Brutus and the other senators will be petty and won’t have the recognition that they deserved when they die. Therefore, Cassius tries to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy. He’s the leader in the conspiracy against Caesar. Cassius is a very persuasive individual and as a result he easily form a group conspirators against Caesar. ‘‘He has the rhetorical power to convert others to his cause; he works upon Brutus and Casca like a proto-Iago, yet shies from the limelight of public oratory.’’(Cavendish) From the conspiracy to the actual homicide of Julius Caesar, Cassius amongst the conspirators is the one who’s the most involved. He gathers the conspirators, gets Brutus on his side and plans the murder.
In addition Cassius’s motives against Caesar are more personal. Amongst the conspirators, Cassius is the only one who has private issues with Caesar. At the Lupercal festival, Cassius tells Brutus about how Caesar is a feeble man. He tells him a story when Caesar...