Notes on Julius Caesar Themes

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Julius Caesar Topic Tracking: Excess

Act I, Scene I

Excess 1: Caesar is accused by Flavius of being excessively proud and desirous of power. Flavius is a scribe who mocks the commoners as they prepare excitedly for Caesar's return from battle.

Act I, Scene II

Excess 2: Cassius describes Caesar as excessively large in relationship to his followers (including Cassias). He says that Caesar's followers and close associates make themselves excessively and unnecessarily small and meek in their actions when they are around Caesar. He says that this way of acting is unnecessary and probably dangerous because it allows Caesar too much room to act like a king.

Excess 3: Caesar asks to be surrounded by excessively fat men, and is scared by Cassius because he is so thin.

Act I, Scene III

Excess 4: Cassius declares that the terrifying and supernatural events of the night are merely signs of something to come that Casca should look forward to and not be afraid of. He enumerates a number of fantastic things that have happened over the course of the night. The magic events, like a man's hand that is on fire but never burns, keep happening, and many people are very scared by them.

Act II, Scene I

Excess 5: Portia must resort to gashing her thigh in order to get her husband's attention and make him tell her the truth about his plans. She reveals this to him during a speech where she makes every plea possible that will convince Brutus that she is smart, reliable, and from a strong lineage.

Act III, Scene I

Excess 6: Caesar declares himself superior to all those around him - in this case, the conspirators - in every way. Metellus Cimber has decided to ask for a pardon for his brother as a means of getting close to Caesar. Caesar scorns the request, instead making a speech about how he must be morally superior to those around him, and so will not go back on his word. The pardon is insignificant, and so highlights his excessive pride.

Act III, Scene II

Excess 7: After reading Caesar's will, Antony takes the clothes off Caesar's body so that the Roman populous to whom he is speaking can see Caesar's wounds, thus inflaming the public opinion against Brutus even more.

Act V, Scene I

Excess 8: Octavius declares that he intends to avenge every single one of Caesar's 31 fatal wounds during the battle.

Act V, Scene V

Excess 9: Antony, upon finding Marcus Brutus dead, states that Brutus was the only one of the conspirators to have done his deed without any pride. Brutus was pure in intent, and without any excess of pride or envy at all.

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