Julius Caesar Characters, Motifs and Themes (Novak)

Flavius and Marullus – deface the statues of Caesar in the beginning- tell the people to go back to work and stop celebrating Caesar’s victory
Julius Caesar – ignorant and cocky- assassinated by the conspirators- offered the crown 3 times- the people loved him
Calpurnia – Caesar’s wife- warned him not to go out the day he was killed because of the bad omens and the dream she had of the romans bathing in a statue flowing blood but he ignored her
Brutus – Caesar loved him- swayed to the conspirators by Cassius- stabbed Caesar last- in the end kills himself by having Strato hold up a sword and running into it
Portia – Brutus’ wife- offered to cut a gash in her leg to prove her trustworthiness to Brutus- killed herself by eating hot coals
Lucius – Brutus’ servant
Caius Cassius – Caesar remarked that he had a mean and hungry look and should be feared- Led the conspirators and the assassination plot- killed himself by giving Pindarus his sword and telling him to stab him- wandered around during the storm shelterless
Casca – first one to stab Caesar- one of the conspirators
Cinna – wrote the forged letters that were given to Brutus to convince him to join the conspiracy
Metellus Cimber – conspirator- distracts Caesar by kneeling to him and requesting he absolve his brother’s banishment – Caesar refuses
Strato – One of Brutus’ men, held up a sword while Brutus ran at it
Trebonius – Conspirator, leads Antony from Caesar and the Senate so he won’t interfere
The Soothsayer – Tells Caesar to beware of the ides of march- Tries to warn Caesar before he is killed
Mark Antony – part of the triumvirate (Antony, Octavius, Lepidus)- good friend of Caesar’s- rallied the people at Caesar’s funeral- swore to avenge Caesar’s death
Octavius – part of the triumvirate (Antony, Octavius, Lepidus)- good friend of Caesar’s – swore to not put his sword down until he avenged every single one of the traitors
Titinius – an officer in the army commanded by Cassius and Brutus- Cassius took his life after thinking Titinius was captured – Titinius took his life after hearing Cassius took his life
Pindarus – Cassius’ servant- killed Cassius in the end
Lepidus – part of the triumvirate (Antony, Octavius, Lepidus)- Octavius trusts him- Antony does not trust him or think highly of him- Antony compared him to a horse
Plot by Act • Act 1 – exposition: opening scene, sets stage• Act 2 – rising action: Brutus is swayed to the conspirators• Act 3 – climax: Antony sways the people to his side• Act 4 – falling action: Havoc between Octavius and Antony and Lepidus vs Brutus and Cassius • Act 5 – resolution or denouement: Conspirators are killed
Motif blood – represents death- Calpurnia’s vision of romans bathing in his blood foretold his death- Conspirators bathed in Caesar’s blood represents his death
Motif fire – slave whose hand was on fire
Motif omens Always ignored, foretell of what will happenExamples:- Ravens and crows circling over army- Eagles feeding from soldiers hands- Storm before Caesar’s death- Romans bathing in fountain of blood
Motif power People through the play always become corrupt with power or are thought to- Antony wanted to divide up the money Caesar put aside- Caesar was predicted to become corrupt with power- Cassius wanted more power so they killed Caesar
Motif honor People throughout the play are always trying to prove they are honorable – Antony was honorable as he avenged Caesar- Brutus is remarked as honorable by Antony at the end of the play as he killed Caesar for the common good and not out of thirst of power
Motif ambition – Brutus justified his killing of Caesar by claiming that Caesar was ambitious – Antony rallied the mob by proving that Caesar wasn’t ambitious
Motif flattery – Cassius used flattery to corrupt Brutus- Antony used flattery to gain the conspirator’s trust- Antony used flattery to act like he was not against the conspirators in front of the public
Theme: Appearance versus reality – that is, things are not always what they appear to be ********
Theme: Superstition and the supernatural – Slave whose hand was on fire- Caesar’s ghost- Lion walking around the capital
Theme: The rise of one person at the expense of another – Brutus rose to power for a short period of time at the expense of Caesar’s life- Antony rose to power at the expense of Caesar’s death
Theme: Disorder in the state or the the family – there was corruption in the senate as the conspirators were all plotting to kill Caesar and that resulted by breaking up the family and the death of Caesar
Theme: The relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm *******
Theme: The relationship between fate and free will – Caesar always remarked that there was nothing you could do about fate and that if the Gods willed it it would happen
Definition of a Tragedy Long narrative poem that tells of the adventures of heroes who embody the values of civilaizations
Definition of a Tragic Hero A main character in an epic whose legendary or heroic actions are central to his/her culture, race, or nation.
Tragic Heros in the play Julius Caesar Major: AntonyMinor: Brutus and Octavius
Internal and External conflicts within the play – Brutus loved Caesar and was conflicted on whether or not he deserved to die- Antony was conflicted as to whether or not he should trust Lepidus
Characterics of an Epic The hero is outstanding. …The setting is large. …The action is made of deeds of great valour or requiring superhuman courage.Supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—insert themselves in the action.It is written in a very special style.The poet tries to remain objective.
Characterics of an Epic Hero 1. Flaw or error of judgment (hamartia)2. A reversal of fortune (peripeteia) 3. The discovery or recognition that the reversal of fortune was brought by the character’s own actions (anagnorisis)4. Excessive pride (hubris)5. The characters fate must be greater than deserved

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