Themes Of Leadership/ Power, Friendship, And Misinterpretation In The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar was a tragedy play written by Shakespeare in ancient Rome, about the assassination of Caesar. Within Julius Caesar, Shakespeare used a variety of different literary devices to display the themes of leadership/ power, friendship, and misinterpretation.

To begin Shakespeare choose to help develop the themes of Leadership and power throughout the play, by using different literary devices such as, metaphors, similes, and hyperboles. When writing Julius Caesar Shakespeare tended to use metaphors to help display how the people in power would establish their hierarchy while talking to the citizens in Roman by comparing them to animals or giving them demeaning names. For instance when Marcellus made a speech saying ”You blocks you stones, you worse than senseless things!” which was directed towards the people who supported Caesar after he won, and had overthrown Pompei. (A1S1#38) By using this metaphor it helped paint a picture in the reader’s mind about how the hierarchy in ancient Rome worked, and how the regular commoners were seen as. Another literary device that was used to show leadership/ power was similes. When talking to Cassius Caesar had said ”But I am as constant as the northern star.” when trying to reassure Cassius of his ability to lead Rome. (A3S1#65). This helped to display the theme of leadership, because he was basically calling himself a dependable person, and the right person to rule Rome. Hyperboles are another device that was used to show leadership. When Anthony gave his speech at Caesar’s funeral, trying to undermine the conspirators, by tricking the public to stand by him using exaggerated language and hyperbole, it showed how easily it was to lead Rome, since the commoners just listened the anything the last person said, ”But were I Brutus, and Brutus Anthony, there were an Anthony would ruffle your spirits, and put a tongue in every wound of Caesar that would move the very stones of Rome to raise and mutiny.”(A3S2#31-35) All and all within Julius Caesar there were many devices that helped display the themes of leadership and power such as, metaphors, similes, and hyperboles.

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Another prominent theme was friendship, which was portrayed throughout the play using devices such as apostrophe, flashbacks, and Puns. For starters, when Anthony was giving his speech at Caesar’s funeral, he had used an Apostrophe, “For Brutus as you know, was Caesar’s angel. Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!” to first remind the common people that Brutus and Caesar were best friends, and then change tons and tell the gods how much Caesar loved the man who killed him (Brutus). This apostrophe was used to show the common people the betrayal Brutus demonstrated to someone he considered a friend. Puns where another way Shakespeare demonstrated friendship, When Cassius was talking to Brutus and trying to convince him that he is better than how he views himself. “Listen to me Brutus. Since you know you cannot see yourself but by reflection, I will be you mirror. I am no false friend.” (A1S2) this showed how much care Cassius actually had for Brutus and how strong there friendship truly was. Another literary device used to display friendship was, a Flashback from Cassius perspective about a memory he had shared with Caesar. “Once, on a cold and windy day, when the river Tiber was crashing against its banks, Caesar said to me, “Cassius, I dare you to jump into this rough water with me and swim to that point there.” by telling this memory it helped display the relationship between Cassius and Caesar although it was tolmoltuis at times.


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