Roman Virtues Notes
In Rome during them time of Julius Caesar, a persons uprightness was measured by how well he/she conformed to four basic virtues. Virtue- conformity to moral and ethical principals; moral excellence.
The four Roman Virtues
Pietas- duty, or dutiful conduct towards his parents, relatives, ancestors, Gods, and country. Gravitas- “Gravity” — A sense of the importance of the matter at hand, responsibility and earnestness. Gravitas is the most important of the Roman virtues because it encompasses all that a Roman was supposed to be.
It was a combination of physical, mental and emotional stability and duty that one should have or either the empire should have; first to the state and then to family.
Simplicitias- comes close to plainness or even bluntness in English. It suggests singleness of purpose and directness in achieving one’s ends. At its highest it stand for frankness and honesty. Almost as if you are pushing away “irrelevant”. Virtus- Originally meant manliness, but came to suggest physical courage and eventually virtues in our sense, though associated more with the battlefield than with the conical chamber.
Anachronism- an event or detail that is chronologically out of its paper time in history. Pun- humorous play on words, using either ( 1 two or more different meaning of the same word OR 2) two or more words that are spelled and pronounced somewhat the same but have different meanings. Example: Mrs. Carter pushes a cart…
There goes the carter. Apostrophe- addressing somewhat that/someone who is not present; dead as if living, absent as if present, inanimate as if animate. Pathetic Fallacy- attachment of human feelings and traits to nature. Example: as if nature was crying with man. Aside- private words that a character is a play speaks to the audience or to another character, which are not supposed to be overheard by others on stage. Soliloquy- a character who is alone of stage who express their feelings.
Virtue and Ambition in Julius Caesar
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a play which displays the contrasting themes of ambition and virtue. The background of this renowned play is set in republican Rome, where the importance of virtue is at its peak. Virtue embraces honour, nobility, love and responsibility for their nation. The Romans believe that truly virtuous men are consistent in their private and public political life. Ambition, on the other hand, has no place in Romans’ virtues. In the play, when Caesar begins to display signs of power-hungry, arrogance, increasing ambition and even the idea of tyranny, which clashes with the Roman republican virtues, the tension is built.
While Shakespeare shares his definition of virtue through Brutus, as a role model of republican virtue, he creates the tension in the story as Brutus conflicts with ambitious characters like Caesar, Cassius and Mark Antony. Shakespeare begs to question whether virtue or ambition makes a successful leader. In the following essay, I shall discuss the contrasting themes of virtue and ambition in the play.
At the play’s end, Antony concluded Brutus’s life honoring him as “the noblest Roman of them all”. Brutus stands firm on his set of virtuous principles.
Throughout the play, he struggles to maintain Rome as an idealistic republic. He makes all his decisions only based on what is best for his nation, striving to put aside all personal emotions and desires. Yet, every time he takes the virtuous path which he believes in, he ironically hurts the very idea he seeks to protect. We are put in doubts, of why such constant principles and true virtue can go wrong. Making use of Brutus’s nature, Cassius easily convinces him Caesar’s ambitious nature as a great threat to the republic and must be assassinated.
Cassius manipulates his “honorable mettle may be wrought From that it is disposed”, tactfully planting the seeds of Caesar’s ambition and tyranny in his mind, along with a forged letter from the plebeians to Brutus complaining of Caesar. Brutus enters into an internal conflict as to the nobility of this conspiracy and murder, and eventually comes to a conclusion that he is a “purger”, sacrificing for his nation, which is in line with his virtuous nature. Even among the conspirators, conflict between virtue and ambition is obvious.
Besides Brutus, the conspirators plan to murder Caesar derives from selfish desires, envy and ambition. Antony’s speech about Brutus that “He only in a general honest thought And common good to all made one of them”, draws a line between Brutus’s virtue and others’ ambition. Clearly, Metellus desires power to free his brother, and Cassius is jealous of and ambitious like Caesar.
In his conversation with Brutus, he considers himself better than Caesar as he challenges that “A man of such feeble temper should So get the start of the majestic world, And bear the palm alone. He continues to show his jealously by comparing Caesar with Colossus, where “we petty men Walk under his huge legs and peep about To find ourselves dishonorable graves” Finally, Brutus is unhappy about Cassius as he discovers that Cassius and others have been involved in bribery to gain money, further drawing a line between virtue and personal desires and ambition. Again, ambition and virtue clashes in the play upon the glory Caesar has ascended upon. As soon as Caesar was introduced in the play, we hear from Cassius that he started to behave like a god.
Even when he makes his appearance, Calphurnia and Antony addresses him as “my lord”. Caesar continues to display various signs of increasing ambition and arrogance, such as Casca’s amusing account of Caesar’s thrice refusal to the crown when it was obvious he wanted to accept it. His ambition and arrogance is at its peak in the play as he states that he is “constant as the Northern Star, Of whose true fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament. ” It is evident that he sees himself the greatest of all Romans and intends to rule the nation.
With his Roman principles and virtues, Brutus is against such ambition. He believes that murder and death is the only way to deal with it. As soon as Caesar dies, he rejoices “Ambition’s debt is paid”, and he convinces the pubic that even though he loved Caesar, “But as [Caesar] was ambitious, I slew him”. It is ironic as he tries hard to prevent any possibility of ambition in growing into tyranny, yet in the end, the Roman republic is destroyed in his hands, when virtue clashes with ambition.
Claiming that killing Antony is “Like wrath in death and envy afterwards”, Brutus strives to remain the most noble and virtuous man by separating the death of Caesar from a dishonorable violent deed. In his opinion, murder was righteous and virtuous upon his speech, “Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers” to his fellow conspirators. Even after Caesar’s death, he continues to be motivated by his virtue that Antony would sympathize with him, which is proven to be a naive mistake.
Anthony on the other hand, is power-hungry and ambitious, making use of the opportunity of Caesar’s death to rise into power. Antony manipulates the crowd shrewdly by his rhetorical speech which questions the ‘ambitious’ nature of Caesar which has no true evidence. He moves and triggers a riotous crowd, and thus leads to revolution and bloodshed, where Rome will never be the same again, and he could rise in power to rule. As we compare Brutus’s speech in the square with Antony’s, we see that Brutus displays true virtue and only true love for his nation and people.
Though, he can win some support of the plebeians, the true meaning behind his actions and his virtuous principles, which is to preserve Rome as a republic, is totally lost. It is ironic as the public respond by glorifying “Caesar’s better parts Shall be crowned in Brutus”, which is exactly opposite to what Brutus hopes to see. While virtue is honoured and promoted in the society, Shakespeare questions the practicality of such virtue in reality of a government or head of nation.
To conclude, it is important to recognize that Brutus is doomed to die from the start as he continues to uphold his principles and virtues. As the perfect exemplar of a Roman, he made decisions by sacrificing and overcoming personal desires and emotions, only for the good of the nation. Yet, it is justified through the play through his actions that virtue does not make a good political leader, because it is too idealistic and neglects the emergence of ambition, which is the motivation and driving force of political leaders throughout history.
Outline Julius Caesar’s Reforms
Although between the period of 49-44BC Caesar spent little time in Rome, during his brief appearances he initiated a large number of legislative and administrative reforms.
He pushed through a large number of senatorial decrees and laws dealing with such things as the reorganisation of the local government of Italian towns, the length of tenure of provincial governors, the reduction in the number of Romans receiving free grain, penalties for criminal offences, the ratio of free labourers to slaves on large estates, traffic congestion in the Forum, the composition of the law courts, reform of the calendar and even the restriction of luxury displayed by nobility.
However, his most important initiative was the founding of colonies outside Italy and the extension of Roman citizenship to provincials. In 49 Caesar granted franchise to the area of Transalpine Gaul. He enfranchised a Gallic legion en masse and granted full Roman citizenship to certain provincial towns. This provided Caesar with more support from people who he provided the vote too.
Also, the granting of Roman citizenship to provincials allowed for a patron-client relationship to occur where people supported each other in exchange for protection etc.
Caesar also promoted overseas colonies not just for his veterans but also for the urban poor. These colonies were in places such as Carthage and Corinth that received a rebirth because of this. Through this Caesar had effectively introduced Romanisation of the empire. This reform is seen as Caesar’s most statesmen like act. He also made reformed the financial ways of the empire. He replenished the treasury by penalties extracted from rebels. He even modified the taxation system to eliminate the need of selfish tax collectors.
To represent the provinces he even took the unpopular measure of enrolling provincials from Gaul and Spain into the senate. The senate was also increased to 900 men. The number of quaestors was increased from 20 to 40, aediles from 4 to 6 and praetors from 8 to 16. By doing this the distribution of power under him great so that one man could not rival his power and support. He also increased the pay of soldiers greatly while providing them with extra bonuses such as bounties and pensions. This was popular because it allowed him to keep the support and loyalty of his armies and even attract more supporters.
For the city he began to extend the forum and pave it. He planned on creating a Basilica, a vast library and he even planned to drain marshes, improve the cities drainage and build new roads. This increased his popularity in Rome since they were directly being provided with tangible benefits. He also attempted to promote the release of slaves by making at least one third of the estate be free men labourers not slaves. This also helped avoid another slave revolt like the one tackled by Pompey earlier. He even reformed the calendar of Rome called the Julian calendar.
This calendar is even in use today and was developed mathematically. He also equalled out the composition of the courts providing more opportunities for the equites to have their say. The penalties for criminal offences were increased to keep strict controls over the Roman people and avoid rioting resulting from the corn dole. He also passed a variety of miscellaneous laws varying from the suppression of private clubs, passing measures to relieve debt and to protect creditors from incurring heavy losses. He even passed laws against mass amounts of luxury being shown off.
“Beware the Ides of March” (I. iv. 52). This familiar line by the Soothsayer in Julius Caesar reflects the presence of omens and ghosts in the play. What exactly is the significance of these supernatural references? The supernatural establishes mood, develops character, and foreshadows the plot. First, the supernatural creates mood in the play. The most important mood is impending doom which gradually increases until the scene of Caesar’s assassination. This mood is first introduced with the scene of a terrible storm on the night before Caesar’s murder.
Many supernatural things happen during this storm, including men on fire and lions walking on the streets of Rome. Tension is further created as Casca describes his unearthly visions. The feeling of doom continues as Calphurnia’s dream is revealed when Caesar says, “She dreamt tonight she saw my statue, / Which, like a fountain with a hundred spouts / Did run pure blood, and many lusty Romans / Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it” (II.
ii. 1. 76-79). The audience feels that something is about to happen and that the dream is an omen that foreshadows Caesar’s demise.
Tension builds once again as Caesar is warned repeatedly by the soothsayers to beware the ides of March. The supernatural events which occur in the play clearly help to create the mood which keeps the audience’s interest throughout the rest of the play. A second purpose of the supernatural is to reveal characters. Julius Caesar is a self-confident, conceited man when he ignores the warning of the Soothsayer in his statement, “He is a dreamer, let us leave him. Pass! ” (I. ii. 1. 22-24).
His words show that either Caesar does not believe in omens, or he is trying not to appear superstitious in front of the crowd to keep up his public image. Caesar is not the only character in the play who can be assessed by the way he reacts to the supernatural. Some of Brutus’ characteristics are also revealed when he comes into contact with unusual forces of nature. For instance, Brutus is unmoved when the storm is raging outside. However, when Caesar’s ghost appears in front of him, he is shown as a superstitious but noble man, who accepts his destiny.
Brutus says, “The ghost of Caesar hath appeared to me / Two several times by night, at Sardis once / And last night here in Philippi fields. / I know my hour is come” (V. v. 1. 16-19). Brutus believes that everything is predetermined and that there is no way of changing his fate; therefore, he does not try to battle with it and accepts his punishment readily. Clearly, Shakespeare reveals characters through their reaction to the supernatural. The final dramatic purpose served by the supernatural is to foreshadow the plot.
The storm before Caesar’s assassination is a perfect example. Casca, who is deeply influenced by the storm, describes the unusual sights, “A common slave – you know him well by sight – / Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn / Like twenty torches joined, and yet his hand, / Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched…” (I. iii. l. 15-32). These terrible phenomena prophesy violent times for Rome and the death of the emperor. Also, Calphurnia’s dream and the soothsayer’s warnings convince the audience that the murder of Caesar is inevitable.
Another superstitious event that foreshadows the action, occurs in the first scene of the last act, when Cassius says: And in their steads do ravens, crows and kites Fly o’er our heads and downward look on us As we were sickly pray; their shadows seem A canopy most fatal, under which Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost. (V. i. l. 84-87) The ravens and crows are a bad omen and the audience expects the defeat of Brutus and Cassius’ troops. However, the spectators may not be sure and may, therefore, anticipate the ending with interest.
Clearly, plot is developed by the supernatural. In conclusion, supernatural events create the moods of tension, suspense or impending doom; they reveal some strengths and weaknesses of the characters; and they also foreshadow the action which helps to keep the audience’s interest. The characters are warned by the forces of the supernatural about their gloomy future; everything seems to be predetermined. The spectators are left with the feeling that the destiny of humans is preordained and they cannot change their fate.
Rhetoric in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
Throughout various plays and pieces, rhetoric is used to convince characters into dedicating to a considerable action or decision. In William Shakespeare’s plays, rhetoric is used frequently by characters that prepare to encourage others into doing particular actions that satisfy their own individual opinions and requirements. As it can cause numerous dangerous results, the art of persuasion, evoked through uses of rhetoric, can be viewed as a lethal weapon that has the power to cause damage and harm. Likewise, making use of rhetoric likewise has the power to expose facts and identities, that have actually been hidden and concealed and are only able to be discovered through the schematic initiation of persuasion.
To entirely encourage someone else, a character needs to utilize rhetoric to conquer one of three key decision-making factors: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, appeals to Logos, Pathos, and Principles are effectively utilized to reveal character, as seen in Cassius, Antony, and Brutus respectively, throughout the play.
Cassius chooses to persuade different characters through appeals to Logos, which indicates his true qualities and aspects, and how they reflect his motifs. To appeal to Logos, one must appeal to the logical side of a person’s mentality; they must use reasoning and syllogism to persuade another person into believing that their opinion is completely logical, and is therefore the best decision to make. This can be seen in Cassius numerous times, and it establishes how he is calculating, logical, and cold. In the second scene of the first act, Cassius tells Brutus that Caesar is not the godly king the he sets himself up to be, and persuades Brutus that Caesar must be overthrown. Cassius convinces Brutus that Caesar is not fit for the thrown by using recollections of past experiences, in which Caesar can be seen as frail and impotent, to insult Caesar and convince Brutus that he is surely not strong enough to be crowned the leader of Rome, “His coward lips did from their colour fly, and that same eye whose bend doth awe the world did lose his lustre”. (1.2.122-124)
The message is that Caesar is weak, and is no stronger than the average mortal Roman. If Caesar is weak and frail, how will he be able to lead an entire nation? This use of syllogism appeals to Brutus’ Logos, and convinces him that it is only logically fit to have a strong and capable man as leader, if there were to be a leader, through the simple cause-and-effect method. This is an example of Cassius being calculating, logical, and cold as he calculates that Brutus can be persuaded through a reasonable, syllogistic appeal, he uses logic to show Brutus evidence that Caesar is weak, and he is cold to the fact that Brutus is a very close friend of Caesar, and that turning such good friends against each other would be dishonourable, disrespectful, and inconsiderate to the bond they share and the significance of their relationship.
Antony uses rhetoric through appeals to Pathos to effectively persuade others, and this reveals how he can be seen as smart, empathetic, and loyal. An appeal to Pathos is an appeal to emotion, rather than logic or credibility. Antony understands the power of one’s emotions, and uses his knowledge of this to persuade people into satisfying his needs by convincing them that their emotional desires are the most reasonable factor in making a decision. In the second scene of the third act, Antony gives a moving speech to the Plebians about Caesar’s death, and how he believes it was a traitorous act by the conspirators, and that his murder must be avenged. Antony knows full well that the common mob is not an intellectual group in the slightest, and chooses to appeal to emotions in an emotionally overwhelmed crowd, showing that he is smart and clever.
To persuade the Plebian audience into fully believing that Caesar did not deserve to die, Antony decides to render Caesar’s death as a personal loss to each individual Plebian by overstating the fashion in which Caesar was killed, and by exaggerating the betrayal of Caesar’s close friend, Brutus, “Through this the well-loved Brutus stabb’d, and as he pluck’d his cursed steel away, mark how the blood of Caesar follow’d it, as rushing out of doors to be resolv’d if Brutus so unkindly knock’d or no, for Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel”. (3.2.174-179) By dramatizing Caesar’s death, Antony convinces the Plebians that Caesar, the man they had loved so much, did not deserve to die in such a gruesome manner, betrayed by his close friends, and thus causes the Plebians to feel resentful and vengeful for the death of such a seemingly innocent man. By persuading the Plebians into believing that Caesar’s death must be avenged through an exploitation of their emotional dominance in the decision making process, Antony can be seen as empathetic, as he understands the emotional connection between the Plebians and Caesar and uses it to his advantage, and loyal, as he desires, so strongly, for his best friend to be avenged for such a heinous and disloyal crime.
Ethos is Brutus’ rhetorical device of choice, and his various uses of it to persuade other characters shows that he is proud, honourable, and naïve. In the first act of the second scene, Cassius brings the conspirators to Brutus’ house, where they discuss their plan to kill Caesar. Up until this point in the play, Brutus declares that he is very honourable towards his morals, and only does what he believes is right after considering both sides of an argument. Thus, Brutus can be seen as honourable, and proud of his morals, honour and the fact that he always contemplates the right decision by considering the significance of each factor. Much like the way Brutus presents himself in such a manner during the beginning of the play, Brutus can also be seen as honourable and pride through his uses of rhetoric.
In this specific scene, Brutus insists that an oath is unnecessary, as they are all honourable men and plan on doing what is best for Rome, “No, not an oath! If not the face of men, the sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse-If these be motives weak, break off betimes, and every man hence to his idle bed; so let high-sighted tyranny range on, till each man drop by lottery” . (2.1.114-119) Here, Brutus tries to persuade the conspirators into becoming honourable, if they already aren’t, and believing that their only motif for killing Caesar should be for the greater good of the Roman Republic.
This shows that Brutus has pride, as he believes that his mentality of honour is the best mentality for this decision, and he is honourable, as he believes that their actions should only be the most honourable ones. However, Brutus’ pride in his honour causes him to be naïve and blind to the fact that not every one of the conspirators agrees with his honourable mentality. Brutus’ pride causes him to believe that his personal mentality is the only possible mentality, and renders him blind to the fact that the conspirators are not killing Caesar for Brutus’ honourable reasons. By becoming completely absorbed to the belief that their only possible motif is for honour, Brutus causes himself to be naïve, through his own honour and pride.
Brutus Campaign Speech Presentation
My fellow Romans, it is I, Marcus Junius Brutus. And I am here running for the position of leader of Rome. I unlike my predecessor will not be a king, or emperor, I will simply rule as one of you, the common people of this great city. But why do you ask, should you vote for me? Because I am selfless. I do not act out of envy, rivalry, or power. I only want what is best for Romans and the people of Rome.
While others like Mark Antony, will simply follow in the footsteps of Caesar, and do we really need another Caesar? Do we need another tyrant to simply squash us all into submission? I say we need a leader, someone who will take charge and change our fine city for the better, and I will do whatever it takes to make this city better, in the past I killed one of my best friends in this world for the betterment of Rome.
I cannot stand tyrants and I vow not to become one. But Antony will become a tyrant I fear, for he was Caesar’s puppet. Antony is nothing but a twister of words, Antony talks well but he doesn’t know how to really rule, Antony would only make the mistakes of his predecessors letting the throne corrupt him into something bad. Antony knows nothing of what it takes to lead such a great city. But why should I be leader? Well while Caesar was on a campaign he put me in charge of a city. This city was un-happy with Caesar for taking over, but I convinced them our leader Caesar, was good and that they should be thanking him, while Caesar toured the cities all the others were angry with him for taking over, but in my city we held celebrations. Julius Caesar was very surprised, and happy at this. Another example of my credibility is that I am a prestige general.
I have had the honor of fighting many battles, including against Julius Caesar himself. I lost against Caesar that battle teaching me an important lesson in my strategies and ethics. So not only will I be a fair and just leader, but I will be able to protect the great city of Rome. This is a valuable skill to this great city because without the protection of a grand army we will soon fall prey to the small countries surrounding us. But why should you vote for me as a whole? Because I Marcus Junius Brutus will protect, serve, and preach my allegiance to you, the common people of Rome, the ones that I live to serve. Thank you.
A Double Edged Sword Cuts Both Ways
The phrase “a doubled edged sword cuts both ways” means that something has both beneficial and adverse outcomes. The comparison is made to a double-edged sword because it allowed the wielder of the sword to slash on the backswing without having to pivot the weapon in their hand, but it also allowed the wielder to cut themselves on the backswing. The actual origin of the phrase is unknown, but the earliest mentions of it can be found in the Bible. This phrase can be applied to literature, art, music, and society throughout history.
The phrase rang true in its Biblical inception and remains relevant in the media of today. Many facets of our society wield double-edged swords from our political issues to our everyday entertainment. I selected this phrase because the broadness of the quote allows it to apply to many subjects across the whole of time. “A double edged sword cuts both ways” demonstrates that every decision can have consequences and benefits, and it’s important to think before you act on impulse.
In the dramatic short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Edgar Allen Poe demonstrates that humans are not capable of enduring extreme guilt.
The story’s narrator lives with an old man and is constantly haunted by the old man’s eye. The narrator is mentally ill, and he decides that he can no longer endure seeing the eye anymore and resolves to kill the old man. After the murder, the narrator hallucinates that he can hear the old man’s heartbeat underneath the floorboards, and he turns himself in to the police to silence the sounds of his guilt. The biggest motif in this work is the concept of time. The amount of time spent with certain actions is never specified, only that it takes a long time to do so. Time is used to describe the heartbeat of the old man right before his murder and the hallucination of it afterwards. Time is what tortured the old man while he was awaiting his death, and time spent dealing with the old man’s eye is what made the narrator insane.
My quote is “a double edged sword cuts both ways”, and, in the context of this story, the truth cuts both ways. “Yet the sound increased …yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly —more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased.” The narrator is hallucinating that he can hear the old man’s heartbeat. He believes that the officers can hear the heartbeat as well, so he tries to speak louder to cover up the sound. “Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die…’I admit the deed! —tear up the planks! Here, here! —It is the beating of his hideous heart!’” The narrator can no longer bear the sound of his hallucinations and admits to his murder to stop the heartbeat. This coincides with my quote because admitting the murder would obviously put him in jail, but it would free him of the hallucinations that he knows are going to push him further into insanity.
Admitting his murder is the narrator’s double-edged sword. In the poem “England in 1819”, Percy Shelley demonstrates that the government can be corrupt just as easily as it can be good. The poem tells of the rule of the dying king and his sons that take over the throne. The people are starving and dying, and the laws and army, which were implemented to protect the people, have turned against them and are now their oppressing force. A major metaphor in this work is the comparison of the government to unseeing, unknowing leeches that live for their own benefit while sucking life from others. This poem is related to my quote because it frames the law as a double-edged sword. “An army, which liberticide and prey/ Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield.” This conveys that the army, a force meant to protect the people, has turned against them. “Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay” expresses that the supposedly perfect laws are the reason for the oppression in England.
This corresponds with my quote because the sovereignty of the government can create security or oppression depending on how the power of the government is used. In the science fiction movie The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry conveys that memories are the best and worst things people can have. The main characters of the movie, Joel and Clementine, meet at the beginning of the movie and quickly start dating. Their relationship takes a turn for the worst, and Clementine goes to a clinic to have all memory of Joel literally erased from her mind. Joel learns about her procedure and decides to do the same for himself. During the procedure, however, Joel becomes consciously aware of all the memories he’s losing and attempts to reverse the process.
The most prevalent theme throughout the film is the parallels of Joel and Clementine and Hermes and Aphrodite. Not just the personalities of the deities that are portrayed in the film through the characters, but there are multiple events in mythology between the couple that were cleverly re-enacted in the movie. This film connects to my quote because Joel’s memories are his double-edged sword. Keeping his memories of Clementine would be painful, especially since she had her memories of him erased, and getting them erased would make him forget that pain but at the cost of all of the wonderful times he had with Clementine. Regarding Joel’s consideration to forget the painful memories, he is told, “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” On the other side of his sword, Joel has his memory wiped and, after failing to reverse the process, says to Clementine, “Come back and make up a good-bye at least. Let’s pretend we had one.”
Through every step of the movie, before the procedure, during the procedure, after the procedure, and before he even knows the procedure exists, memories serve as a double-edged sword for Joel. In the vivid painting Death of Caesar, Vincenzo Camuccini portrays that misuse of power will have consequences that displace that power. This painting illustrates the stabbing of Julius Caesar by his subjects and fellow court members. The focal point of the painting is Caesar (rather dramatically and arrogantly, even as he’s being stabbed) falling to the ground with several men around him wielding knives. The most apparent symbolism in the painting is depicted with the coloration of Caesar and his attackers. Caesar is depicted in red and his attackers in white. Red is meant to symbolize evil or oppression and white cleanliness or purity.
Another man standing near Caesar is also depicted in red; this is believed to be Brutus because he and Caesar were friends, yet he was still the one that initiated the rebellion. Julius Caesar did many fantastic things politically and militarily for Rome, but, after assuming full control over the government, he became a dictator. His power-hungry oppression caused his fellow statesmen to plot against and murder him. The scene illustrated in the painting displays the anger ignited in the conspirators because of Caesar’s misuse of power. The painting is pertinent to my quote because power is displayed as a double-edged sword.
“A double edged sword cuts both ways” is a reminder that everything you do, even if it seems like a good decision at the time, can have consequences. It encompasses the human tendency to be indecisive, to fear the unknown, or to act on impulse to avoid that fear. This quote is woven throughout history, and it’s meaning is still pertinent today. This phrase reiterates the importance of taking the time to weigh out every option and truly understand the repercussions of your actions.
Betrayal in Julius Ceasar
When a person is betrayed by someone he or she loves, something profound happens in the heart of the betrayed person. It is not simply that someone has “let you down,” or “double-crossed you. ” Rather, the betrayer has done an action or taken special information and used it to harm you. The betrayer has held a position of confidence of your most sacred secrets, and then they treat those secrets as if they are to be exploited. A betrayer is a person who knows your heart and has ripped into that heart and ripped out that heart by exposing and exploiting your vulnerabilities.
Betraying another person has become okay in modern day society due to the fact that we feel that we need to preserve ourselves, we have to defend our personal relationships with others, and we must always serve the greater good. In today’s society, people are focused on self-preservation when it comes to the betrayal of others. If a person feels that his life, his ego, or his friendships will be jeopardized by another person, he is most likely not afraid to betray another person.
This is much like jealousy.
We as people feel that we are never good enough. We want to be better than the person next to us, but when that doesn’t happen we feel that person needs to be expelled. In the novel Julius Caesar this is exactly what Brutus does to Caesar. He was afraid that Caesar would outshine the Triumvirate. Brutus killed him, thinking that maybe it would make him look better. This never worked out Brutus. Instead, everyone hated him. His self-preservation was the reverse psychology of what we as people think that betrayal will do for us.
Another way that our society views betrayal is with our personal relationships with others. This can be summed up in one word: trust. Humans use trust as a comfort factor. We are always seeking the opportunity to ensue trust in the people in our lives. Betrayal is always ready to mess this up. If we feel that we cannot trust someone we betray them. This is what Caesar’s friends did to him. No one wanted to believe that they could trust him. So what did they do? They betrayed him.
The last factor in betraying another person is for the greater good. Brutus believed that by killing Caesar that he was serving the people. He thought that is what they wanted. Just because he was afraid of Caesar he believed that everyone thought the same. The thought was that he would become king and that was very frightening to Brutus. Service to the greater good is a factor of betrayal that is used by many people. We do it because we think that we are able to protect others.
Many times this form of betrayal does not do any good because it is done for the wrong reasons. Betraying another person has become okay in modern day society due to the fact that we feel that we need to preserve ourselves, we have to defend our personal relationships with others, and we must always serve the greater good. When a person is betrayed by someone he or she loves, something profound happens in the heart of the betrayed person. It is not simply that someone has “let you down,” or “double-crossed you. Rather, the betrayer has done an action or taken special information and used it to harm you. The betrayer has held a position of confidence of your most sacred secrets, and then they treat those secrets as if they are to be exploited. A betrayer is a person who knows your heart and has ripped into that heart and ripped out that heart by exposing and exploiting your vulnerabilities. Betrayal is found in many different forms of literature, especially the novel Julius Caesar.
Roman Sculpture in Art History
Roman sculpture effects life and plays an important role in Ancient Rome, Julius Caesar, and modern-day society. Statues were an important and influential part of art and architecture in roman culture. Although, most of roman art and architecture came from Greek culture and habits, most people today think of the statues and sculptural techniques as roman.
Ancient Rome used statues as ceremonial pieces, public gathering places, frivolous beautifying accessories in public areas, and honorable tributes to the rich or important people of the time.
The Romans particularly like statues of gods, leaders, and heroes in action. (All About Ancient) Most sculptures roles in society were to be public meeting places for important events. They were used as central areas for passing information and communicating new rules and guidelines for an area. A whole category of battle and heroic sculpture filled the citizenry’s need for information on conquests made by Roman armies. (All Bout Ancient) Although most statues were used for the public, some statues were intended for private viewing only because the subject matter would not be acceptable with commoners seeing as it was offensive or sexually explicit.
(All About Ancient)
Roman statue effected and played a role in literature as well such as Julius Caesar. In Shakespeare’s play, roman sculpture is used as a ceremonial image and also used to foreshadow the terrible events that unfolded later. In Act 1 of the play, a statue is described as decked with ceremonies for a parade. (Shakespeare) This would be a festival-type event celebrating an important figure returning home, that of which being Caesar. Later on in the play, the very same statue came into importance in Calpurnia’s dream. “She dreamt tonight she saw my (Caesar’s) statue which, like a fountain with a hundred spouts, did run pure blood, and many lusty romans came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.” This was an important foreshadowed event and without the statue, it would not have been portrayed the same.
For as old as roman sculpting techniques are and for as long as statues have been around, they still have an impact on modern-day society. When people think of classic beauty, they think of the statues of gods and goddesses, heroes and leaders created by the ancient Romans. (All About Ancient) The Roman style of sculpture is influenced strongly by Greek style. The Romans saw what the Greeks were doing, like it and imitated it, although most of the statues that have remained and are still here today are roman. (Art) In addition to statues, Roman Emperors were also portrayed on coins, which is where modern-day society got the idea of putting out presidents on coins. (All About Ancient) Many of architectural buildings today are based off of old roman art such as the United States very own capital building.
Roman sculptures are very important as the vast majority of them tell us a story about Gods, Heroes, Events, and act as public meeting areas. These statues played important roles in Julius Caesar, Ancient Rome, and modern-day society. Many sculptures were used to represent important events and people, and that cultural idea to represent significant events through art has transferred through into present-day society. Many of the statues that have survived are actually of Roman origin. Like many people today the Romans had a deep respect for Greek sculptures and many were copied. If the Romans had not made these copies, many of the Greek Legends and stories that we know today would have been lost to antiquity.
Julius Caesar – Etho’s, Patho’s, Logo’s
During Julius Caesar, in one of the most famous scenes Shakespeare wrote, Antony influences the audience, soon turning the mourning crowd into a rioting mob. Antony persuades the Romans in his speech through Ethos, Logos, & Pathos. Antony’s speech undermines the conspirators even while it appears deferential to them. Antony uses Ethos to catch the audience’s attention. He states “For Brutus is an honorable man; so are they all, all honorable men” (Act 3, 81-82). Antony never directly calls the conspirators, including Brutus, traitors; he is mainly calling them “honorable” in a sarcastic manner that the crowd is able to understand.
This is the irony in what he is saying. Later in the scene he goes back to into a sarcastic tone and states “O masters, if I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong— who, you all know, are honorable men. I will not do them wrong.
I rather choose to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, than I will wrong such honorable men”(Act 3,120-126). Antony is making fun of righting the “honorable men. ” Antony reassures the crowd he is “not to disprove what Brutus spoke” but to tell them what he does know. He is using logos, logic.
Antony had “thrice presented [Caesar] a kingly crown” & he refused it each time. He then asks “Was this ambition? ”(Act 3, 95-96). He makes the crowds think whether Brutus’ motives where true or just out of jealousy. “You all loved him once, and not without reason. Then what reason holds you back from mourning him now? ”(Act 3,101-102). In this line he is asking the audience why should they applaud Brutus for killing Caesar. They had loved and admired Caesar at some point so why should they not mourn him now. Towards the end of Antony’s speech he begins using pathos causing the crowd to feel sympathy for Caesars and his wrongful death.
He mentions that for the audience to bear with him. His “heart is in the coffin there with Caesar” (Act 3,104-106) he then takes a minute to recollect himself. The audience begins to -realize how “Caesar has had great wrong” (Act 3,109) By how Antony weeps for Caesar makes the Romans realize what all the conspirators did was terribly wrong, because Antony, although he is a party animal he is still a noble man. In the end Antony had the better advantage when it came to using Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Antony, proving himself a noble man, got the Romans to see the wrong deed and caused them to seek revenge.