Conflicting Perspectives: Caesar

Conflicting Perspectives
Conflicting perspectives generate a multitude of views and this is demonstrated to a strong degree in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and also in a photograph taken by Lee Besford in the SMH (25/10/10) titled Dead men – and women – walking.
In Julius Caesar, conflicting perspectives are enhanced through the conspirators’ failure to distinguish appearance from reality, Brutus’ idealism for a justified assassination, Antony’s pragmatism towards the Roman plebeians after winning them over and also both Brutus’ and Caesar’s inability to separate their public and private images. In Besford’s photograph, conflicting values and also different social mores are presented.

Appearances can be deceiving and the way politics is portrayed in Julius Caesar shows that the inability to accurately read people and events is crucial. Mark Antony epitomises survival through his actions and words that were produced at the Capitol to avenge Caesar’s death.
Dramatic irony is shown through how Brutus naively allows Antony to speak at the Capitol despite Cassius’ protests: “I know not what may fall, I like it not” (III, i, 243). Ironically, this refusal towards Cassius is the first disagreement and also the one that brings about their demise.
During this scene, Brutus delivers a lacking speech compared to Antony’s, which is in blank verse as opposed to Brutus’s which is prose, this accentuates Antony’s and Brutus’ reason. Antony captures his audiences attention as he presents a different angle on Caesar’s assassination (he repeats the words ‘honourable’ and ‘ambitious’ in relation to Brutus and Caesar on multiple occasions). This forces both his audience and the reader to question the validity of the statement: “For Brutus is an honourable man” and “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?” His rhetorical questions force the audience to question the truthfulness of this statement.

Conflicting values and social mores are depicted in Besford’s photo Dead men – and...

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