Jealousy in Julius Caesar

Essay by Craig DoolinHigh School, 10th grade November 1996

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Jealousy causes many of the characters in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar to commit dangerous and foolish acts. Cassius' jealousy drives him to kill Caesar. All the conspirators, except the noble Brutus, kill Caesar because they feel threatened by his power. Brutus is the only conspirator who murders Caesar for more honorable reasons. Jealousy is a very important theme in this play.

Cassius feels very threatened by Caesar's power. He remembers when he was an equal to Caesar, and doesn't think that Caesar deserves this much power. He comments to Brutus, 'I was born free as Caesar; so were you: / We both have fed as well, and we can both / Endure the winter's cold as well as he' (Act I, sc. II, 97-99). Cassius is also enraged because Caesar doesn't like him. Caesar suggests, 'Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; / He thinks too much: such men are dangerous' (Act I, sc.

II, 194-195). Cassius thinks that Caesar's temper is dangerous. He declares, 'Ye gods! It doth amaze me, / A man of such a feeble temper should / So get the start of the majestic world, / And bear the palm alone' (Act I, sc. II, 128-131).

Casca also is jealous of Caesar. He is disgusted by Caesar's manipulation of the commoners. He describes it as 'mere foolery' (Act I, sc. II, 235). Casca agrees with Cassius that Brutus is an essential part the conspiracy. He says, 'O, he sits high in all the people's hearts; / And that which would appear offense in us, / His countenance, like richest alchemy, / Will change to virtue and to worthiness' (Act I, sc. III, 157-160).

Brutus is the only conspirator who does not act out of jealousy and envy. He is Caesar's friend, and holds...