Psychoanalysis Of Caesar And Cassius

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In the play, Julius Caesar, many characters are objected to possible failure. Two of the most prominent of these characters are Cassius and Caesar. They both react to this possibility of failure similarly, and in such a way that is in acquiescence with other theories of relating with failure and its tendency in humans.

Cassius's non-belief in fate changes when nearing his death. During the beginning of the play, he felt that he was in charge of his own destiny, "Men at some times are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves..."(I.ii.146-147). This belief, came from Epicureanism which Cassisus was a follower of, "You know that I held Epicurus strong and his opinion" (V.i.85-86).

Epicureanism does not require the belief of a god nor does it believe in an after life, an aversion from common Roman philosophies who believed in fate, and gods.

Cassius also did not believe in omens and fate until Act V, while nearing the battle at Phillipi. Cassius believes that the actions of birds he sees on the way to Phillipi are omens and tells a friend that he is starting to believe in fate. His invalidation of previous principles that he once held so strong have been starting to deteriorate. This complete change in belief is human tendency when dealing with failure or death. It is easier and more satisfying to believe that fate has lead you to failure rather than yourself; blaming your mistakes on others is easier than holding yourself responsible.

Caesar, the pompous ruler of Rome, changes his beliefs when nearing death also.

Caesar thinks he is almost god-like and just as powerful. However, it is said by Cassius that Caesar, "˜is superstitious grown of late'(II.i.195). He also succumbs to his wife's entreaty to stay home because she suspects he will die. However, Caesar, like Cassius eventually dies, despite recent feelings of superstition. Nevertheless, Caesar does show that he has veered from his usual presumptuous self, to a slightly paranoid, and superstitious man; his principals and philosophies have altered. Here, Caesar is doubting his previous beliefs because of the suspicion that has rouse from the premonitions of his death.

Toward death, it is clear that many humans have a tendency to modify or change their previous beliefs. It is said by Vivian Thomas in Twayne's New Critical Introduction to Shakespeare, "Rather than fate governing events, what we see is that human tendency, in any crisis, to feel that there is some intangible force at work" (23). Caesar's and Cassius's conversion of beliefs is justified because of a human's proclivity towards solutions which help satisfaction of the ego and mind. Thomas also states, regarding Cassius that, " they draw near to death they lose faith in the philosophical principles that have guided their lives"(104). This quote also reaffirms the character's change in beliefs.

In conclusion, it is evident that Caesar and Cassius, throughout the course of the play, have experienced the decay of past morals because of prospects of failure. Both characters, especially Cassius, show little resilience to potentially dangerous situations, and changed beliefs to satisfy the ego, behavior quite contrary of Roman creed; Cassius and Caesar weren't as competent as they appeared; things aren't always what they seem.