Julius Caesar

Classical elements

1. Rome and Europe

1. Renaissance

2. Plutarch and Shakespeare

3. Machivavelli; Prince and Discourses on Livy

4. James as new Augustus [and Solomon]

2. Plot--classical design

1. pompey to caesar to brutus to antony to octavius

2. replicating actions of rise and fall: good fortune lasts a day; despite Caesar's north star claim; incessant change; hyman blindness to history; same errors; outside perspective; Error--Cassius' suicide

3. full circle of life; wheel of fortune

1. goes around comes around

2. the whirligig of time brings his revenges

3. structure of comedy and tragedy in human life.

4. other symmetries and ironies

1. Characters

1. Caesar and Brutus

2. Antony and Cassius

3. Brutus and Cassius vs. Antony and Octavius

2. themes

1. suicides=twinning of self eliminating self;

2. battle between selves; to be or not to be in Brutus's soliloquy

3. destiny vs liberty--ghosts, omens, propecies;

4. words having two meanings--to knowing audience and to characters--irony--hypocrisy

4. emphasis on rhetoric; persuasion--cf. Bevington introd