1. Though Julius Caesar focuses on the struggles between powerful men, what role do the plebeians, or common people, play? Are they as fickle as Flavius and Murellus claim in the opening scene? How important is their support to the successes of the various military leaders and the outcome of the play? The play depicts Rome at a time of transition between republic and empire—a time in which, theoretically, the Roman people are losing their power. What role do the people themselves play in this transition?
2. Consider Brutus’s actions. Is he right to join the conspiracy against Caesar? What are his reasons? Does he choose to join the conspiracy, or is he tricked by Cassius? How do Cassius’s motivations compare to Brutus’s? Are they more noble or less noble?
3. Julius Caesar, a play about statehood and leadership, is one of the most quoted of Shakespeare’s plays in modern-day political speeches. Why do you think this play about conspiracy and assassination might appeal to politicians today? Also, discuss how this play might have been a reflection on Elizabethan politics, keeping in mind that Queen Elizabeth, like Caesar, was an aging, heirless leader.
4. Discuss friendship in the play. Consider Caesar and Brutus, Caesar and Antony, Brutus and Cassius, Antony and Octavius, or any other pairings. Are these true friendships or merely political alliances forged for the sake of convenience and self-preservation? How do they compare with the heterosexual relationships in the play—the relations between husbands and wives? Are they more profound or less profound, more revealing or less revealing of their participants’ characters?
5. Who is the protagonist in this play? Is it Caesar, who dies well before the end but whose power and name continue on? Or is it Brutus, the noble man who falls because of his tragic flaws?
6. Consider theatricality in this play. Think particularly of the scene of Caesar’s murder (and Cassius’s reference to future productions of the scene), the speeches in the Forum (particularly Antony’s), and the speeches given over the dead conspirators. How do acting and rhetoric affect the events of the play? How do they interact with politics? Does the play reference its own political power as a theatrical production?
7. Discuss inflexibility in this play, focusing on Caesar and Brutus. How is each man inflexible? Is this rigidity an admirable trait or a flaw? Do the rewards of this rigidity outweigh the consequences, or vice versa?
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Julius Caesar (No Fear Shakespeare Series)
Julius Caesar (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)
18 Fresh Ideas For Good Essay Topics On Julius Caesar
There have been monarchs of all kinds on this planet and yet few stand out from the crowd owing to their special resonance of charisma. To this league falls Napoleon Bonaparte, Akbar the Great; Genghiz Khan and Julius Caesar.
The graded layers
Julius Caesar was an immensely powerful Roman ruler who introduced democracy to the country. He had too many layers to his personality yet he may have remained restricted to college students if not for William Shakespeare’s eponymous masterpiece. This piece finds a place in many syllabi around the world and gives rise to numerous essay topics.
Range of popularity
In fact, such is his popularity and ushering of power that the comic strip of world fame ‘Asterix’ pits Asterix and his village Gaul against the might of Julius Caesar in more than one strip. Numerous movies have also been made on his sentient character; giving more expanse to essays.
Points of difference
Julius Caesar was born a Caesarian, a rarity in those days (the reason behind his surname). His popularity is also the reason why Roman kings were called Caesar after him. His victory against Pompeii and his death at the hands of conspirators all seem mythical, even in an expository essay.
Meanwhile, here are 18 different takes on Julius Caesar in form of essay topics –
- How did Julius Caesar change the meaning of monarchy?
- Explain the far-sightedness of Julius Caesar
- Suggest how Julius Caesar was forever blighted by superstitions
- Write an essay on the inspirational factor of Julius Caesar
- Did Julius Caesar also suffer from the ignominy of ostentation; as visible in his handling of Pompeii?
- Explain the democratic system under Julius Caesar
- Elaborate on what led to Julius Caesar’s death
- Shed light on Julius Caesar’s amour with Cleopatra; one of his wives and the most mystic Egyptian queen
- Narrate the position of women during Caesar’s times
- Explain the character of Julius Caesar with his obstinacy as the backbone
- Explain the concept of taking wives in those times; with the example of how Caesar’s right hand Mark Antony eventually marrying Cleopatra; once Caesar’s wife
- How was Caesar’s epilepsy used as a tool against him by the shrewd Cassius
- Write an essay on how Caesar’s ghost ultimately caused the fall of Brutus and Cassius
- Explain how Caesar’s traits were evident in too many future emperors; notably Napoleon
- Suggest Caesar’s fickleness as a testament to the general mindset of those times
- Shed light on the conquests of Julius Caesar
- Suggest how Mark Antony changed the minds of people gathered over Caesar’s dead body
- Explain how Caesar maintained prosperity and affection in his empire with an allusion to his will
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