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In Julius Caesar, the audience can see both the private and public sides of Caesar and Brutus. Caesar is a powerful confident man who leads great armies and effectively rules the Roman empire, yet he is not without weakness. Similarly, Brutus is strong and refuses to show weakness when in public, whether it be speaking to the plebeians or leading an army into battle. However, as soon as soldiers enter his tent, he pretends not to know of her death, and when told of it, does not react with great emotion. In Julius Caesar, the audience can see both the private and public sides of Caesar and Brutus.

Caesar is a powerful confident man who leads great armies and effectively rules the Roman empire, yet he is not without weakness. Similarly, Brutus is strong and refuses to show weakness when in public, whether it be speaking to the plebeians or leading an army into battle. However, as soon as soldiers enter his tent, he pretends not to know of her death, and when told of it, does not react with great emotion. Much of the play’s tragedy stems from the characters’ neglect of private feelings and loyalties in favor of what they believe to be the public good. Similarly, characters confuse their private selves with their public selves, hardening and dehumanizing themselves or transforming themselves into ruthless political machines. believing himself to be acting on the people’s will, he forges ahead with the murder of Caesar, despite their close friendship. Brutus puts aside his loyalties and shuns thoughts of Caesar the man, his friend; Cassius can be seen as a man who has gone to the extreme in cultivating his public persona.

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Caesar, describing his distrust of Cassius, tells Antony that the problem with Cassius is his lack of private life—his seeming refusal to acknowledge his sensibilities or to nurture his spirit. Indeed, Cassius lacks all sense of personal honor and shows himself to be a ruthless schemer. Ultimately, neglecting private sentiments to follow public concerns brings Caesar to his death. Although Caesar does briefly agree to stay home from the Senate to please Calpurnia, who has dreamed of his murder, he gives way to ambition when Decius tells him that the senators plan to offer him the crown. -Caesar’s public self again takes precedence. Tragically, he no longer sees the difference between his omnipotent, immortal public image and his vulnerable human body. He thus endangers himself by believing that the strength of his public self will protect his private self. Identity is another secondary theme of the play. A person has a public identity as well as a private identity, while another identity is formed by the people through the manipulation of public and private perceptions.

Similarly, Brutus, too, shapes Caesar’s identity as a tyrant, while Mark Antony presents him as a common human being, replacing his tyrannical image with the identity of a good ruler. Though there is certainly violence in Julius Caesar, characters spend far more time talking to one another than they do fighting or killing, and much of that talk takes the form of argument and debate. In particular, both Caesar and Brutus wrestle in different ways with the interplay between public and private. In both cases, private concerns must ultimately yield to what each man believes is the best for the public—in Caesar’s case, a display of inexorable strength, and in Brutus’s case, the murder of Caesar, a man he loves. By portraying the contrast between private and public, and especially by using domestic scenes to set up consequential public events, Shakespeare argues that public figures aren’t always what they appear and that public acts often come at a cost to personal integrity or happiness. Though Caesar projects a public persona of invulnerable strength

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