Saturday, February 26, 2011

Julius Caesar—Public Life vs. Private Life

Throughout the play, Julius Caesar, personal interest versus public interest is a theme that has occurred in multiple places.  The theme can be seen mostly when looking at the difference between public life and private life.  Most of the characters neglect their personal feelings that are brought about in their private lives, and instead follow the interests of the public.  This decision usually leads to disaster.  The first example of this would be with Brutus.  Brutus does not tell his wife, Portia, what he is struggling with when she asks him to confide in her.  He puts aside his personal loyalties to Caesar and decides to act on what he thinks is the public’s will.  Brutus chooses to murder Caesar, despite the fact that they were close friends.  He goes through an inner struggle, but ultimately chooses to follow the interest of the public.  Cassius is another man who is determined to create a powerful public appearance.  He does not really have a private life, which is why he does not seem to deal with an internal struggle.  Cassius does not have any personal honor or sensibility and is just a ruthless murderer.  Caesar also struggles when determining whether or not he should stick with his private life or public life.  Calpurnia urges him to stay home when she has a dream that he will be murdered.  At first, Caesar decides not to go to the Senate, but he is then persuaded by Decius when Decius announces that he will receive the crown if he goes.  Caesar chooses his public self image over his private life and his wife.  He is so concerned with his image that he scolds his wife for making him look like he was afraid in the first place.  All of these characters neglected their private sentiments and chose to follow public concerns.  This is ultimately what led to Caesar’s death.


  1. That's pretty good analysis. It is true that Caesar's conflict between his private and public life lead to his death.

  2. this is great! thank you so much, this really helped with my essay