Julius Caesar - Theme Of Friendship


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Friendship is a wonderful part of life, but it can unfortunately be used to deceive, for it is easy to manipulate with it, but only true friendship cannot be defeated, even after death. This element could well likely be the very thing that had sealed the fate of Julius Caesar, and Brutus, Cassius, and all the other conspirators knew that they could use this to their advantage, and to Caesar’s disadvantage. Friendship, was what the conspirators used as a cover to blind Caesar from the truth, just as a hunter uses camouflage to keep the animals from seeing what he is up to. The conspirators also used camouflage, but they used flattery along with manipulation as a way to soothe any feelings of doubt that Caesar may have had about their sincerity. These essentials would gain trust, which is the key to all friendships.

This trust would be lost and transform into betrayal, with the murder of Caesar. Even though Caesar was plotted against and murdered by Brutus and Cassius, friendship still proved a strong theme because it would falsify the conspirators intents. Caesar was susceptible to the power of friendship just as any normal person would be and his friendship for the conspirators unfortunately blinded him until Brutus’s final blow, by which time it was too late for him. An example of how the conspirators used their friendship with Caesar against him was when Decius, who is one of the conspirators, came to the house of Caesar on the Ides of March. The first thing that Decius says when he walks into Caesar's house is "Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar."(2.2. 58-59) Decius also referred to Caesar as "most mighty". This only made Caesar become more comfortable with Decius, and trust him all the more.

The conspirators had already decided how and when they would kill Caesar, and Brutus, Cassius, along with Decius, knew they had to lure Caesar close. They had an advantage at this because they knew that all they would have to do was prove to Caesar that they had a good, solid friendship, and this would help their situation and leave Caesar completely sightless to the fact that his situation had grown dire. So they decided to use their friendship with Caesar in a horribly deceptive manner, effectively, in order to kill him. Decius managed to start this off well by using flattery and quick wit in order to trick Caesar into going to the senate house, despite the fact that Caesars wife, Calpurnia had dreams of Caesars murder the night before.

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Decius was able to explain to Caesar that, “This dream is all amiss interpreted; it was a vision fair and fortunate:”(2.2. 83-84). He then continues on to explain how Caesars dream was a good one, and that through him Rome would be revived into a great city once more. With this interpretation of Calpurnia’s dream, Caesar was very pleased, and it excited, and pleased him so much that he would not think twice about heading straight to the capitol. So the conspirators had in fact accomplished the first part of their deception of Caesar, and they had done it by misusing their friendship.

Antony was angered by the death of Caesar because he was a true friend to Caesar, and he would, in time exact his revenge on Caesar‘s conspirators. Antony would prove to be the one big problem for the conspirators because he was crafty with his actions and words towards them, and he was a very loyal friend to Caesar, even though Caesar was dead. He was able to deceive Brutus and the other conspirators with his intelligence and his ability of being a smart speaker, to gain their reliance and friendship, as they had done with Caesar. After a brief time in which he mourned for Caesar, Antony stated to the conspirators, "Friend am I with you all, and love you all.”(3.1.220), this was one of Antony’s first steps towards exacting his revenge, by tricking the conspirators. Antony uses these deceiving words in order to manipulate Brutus, and he also said this so he could persuade Brutus and put all of Brutus’s worries about where Antony stood with them, at ease. Antony uses his great ability to manipulate through speech, to convince Brutus to let him give the eulogy at Caesar’s funeral, and Brutus thinking that Antony is now their friend, agrees with barely any hesitation. Then when Antony does get to the pulpit in order to give Caesar’s eulogy, he turns on the conspirators and uses his wise words in order to churn the people into a murderous frenzy.

The theme of friendship was unfolding throughout the entire play, and it almost changed to a theme of conspiracy, because that is what the characters of the play used their friendships for. There were many persuasive and manipulative moments, in which friends were almost stabbing each other in the back, and in some cases actually did stab each other in the back. Caesar’s biggest weakness was the fact that he loved flattery and his conspirators knew this and used it in order to gain his confidence and friendship. It seems that with this theme of friendship, Shakespeare was trying to show people that even though they might be friends with someone, it doesn’t mean that person has only good intentions. The main point my be that people should choose their friends carefully, which is a good point, because for all people know, their best friend could actually be their worst enemy.


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