Sunday, October 16, 2011


1) So the way Cassius and Tintinius died is parallel to the end of Romeo and Juliet. Someone kills him or herself because he/she thinks the other person died.

There sure is a lot of suicide in Shakespeare's plays. Is it just because it's dramatic? Or was Shakespeare purposefully promoting the idea that suicide was a kind of "release" and "escape" from this terrible, mortal world we live in?

Just to bring in the Restored Gospel a little bit - I'm sure glad to have the understanding of suicide that I have, and an understanding of its consequences. No matter how bad things get, things are never bad enough to commit suicide. I know I shouldn't judge those who have committed suicide, that's not my job. But I do know that it is not a favorable "escape" from this mortal life. (That's what the Atonement is for.)

2) And is Cassius really a hero? It seems to me he's been treacherous and a ne'er-do-well this whole play. Is it because he was the one who got the ball rolling on assassinating Caesar? Or are Brutus and others talking about a past life that takes place for this play opens? Or is it just because people say nice things about others after they die?

"Brutus: Are yet two Romans living such as these?
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
It is impossible that ever Rome
Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time."

3) When Brutus finds out that so many people have killed themselves, he exclaims, "Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!" But, like I said earlier, was that really Caesar's ghost? Or just Brutus' evil side? Is it really Brutus who started all this?

4) I thought the finalizing couplet was interesting:

"So call the field to rest; and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day." 

Is it really a happy day? I guess it's happy because the war is over. But is there more to it than that? Octavius is probably happy to accomplish revenge against Caesar's murderers. But based on his last words for Brutus, I'm not sure if Mark Antony feels that same way. Is he happy for Brutus in the same way we are sometimes happy that those who have passed away are resting from their labors and reunited with loved ones?


  1. point no. 2. Is Cassius a hero? I think absolutely no! i think HE has been the evil driving force in all of this, and even at the beginning when he's tempting Brutus with flattery etc., I saw parallels to Satan (tempting Jesus, etc.). did you notice any?

    Isn't it interesting that though he commits suicide, it's less out of guilt because he's realized how wrong the murder was, but more out fear for himself... It seems to me that he's completely selfish through the entire play!

  2. Great points. Yes, I think Cassius is the real villain this whole play. Even though I think Caesar did show signs of getting too ambitious, he was cut off before he was really a threat. Brutus was acting out of pure patriotism. Mark Antony was acting out of revenge. But Cassius? I don't think he had the patriotic motives Brutus had. So, I think you're right.

    (And about the temptation of Jesus...there are some similarities, especially when Cassius tries to tell Brutus how much everybody loves him and wants him to be Caesar.)