Julius Caesar | Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of Julius Caesar.
This section contains 5,497 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

SOURCE: “Julius Caesar: The Forum Scene as Historic Play-within,” in Shakespeare Yearbook, Vol. 1, Spring, 1990, pp. 14-27.

In the following essay, Willson analyzes Act 3, scene 1 of Julius Caesar—in which Brutus and Antony give their funeral orations to Caesar—and examines Shakespeare's use of metadramatic allusions to the theater and the play's theme of ‘destructive passion.’

That Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators see themselves as actors in a precedent-setting, historical drama is revealed in Cassius' exclamation following the assassination:

How many ages hence Shall this our lofty scene be acted over In states unborn and accents yet unknown. 

(3.1.111-3)1

To amplify Cassius' prophetic claim, Brutus echoes the sentiment in a characteristically philosophical observation:

How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey's basis lies along No worthier than the dust! 

(114-6)2

Such...

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This section contains 5,497 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.