The novel Julius Caesar could be more appropriately named Brutus, but it is uncertain whether or not it really should be. This is for many reasons, such as the fact that Caesar didn’t play a very important active role in the play, but most of the things in the play happened as a result of something that he did, started, caused, or said. He died before most of the action of the play took place. There is also another reason the play might have been better named Brutus. The masses play a role in this.
When the play begins, it appears as though the book will be about, you could say, the life and times of Julius Caesar. He has just defeated Pompey, and everyone is cheering for him. Marullus and Flavius are even condemned to death for removing the decorations off of Caesars’ statues. The talk of the crowd is Caesar, and everyone wants him to have the crown, and become the new leader of Rome.
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As the play continues, however, it becomes obvious that the book is simply about what Caesar started, and then who continues his work, and who changes it. Antony, although he was associated (worked for) Caesar, ended up doing quite a lot (good or bad) for Rome, so why isn’t the play named after him? This proves that the play might not have been given the best name. Or had it?
Caesar wanted to become king. That was his goal, and his motives were because he thought he was better than everyone was, and he even wanted “fat men among him” so that he would look better. He didn’t, however, realize how stupid he really was. Had he listened to his wife, the one person he should trust, he might not have gotten killed. This probably would have allowed him to become king, and change Rome and it’s people to meet his satisfaction. And so, had it not have been for Caesar (or his stupidity), the play might have had an entirely different outcome. This is not necessarily something that can be proved, but it is certainly a reason why the play was possibly given the best name.
Another reason for this is because Antony honoured him so much, that he decided to start a war to get revenge on the people who killed Caesar. He even says that Caesar will cry from the grave that he is glad of the revenge. The war was because of Caesar.
There is, however, a good reason why the play might have been better named Brutus. It is obvious that the masses change their preferred leader very quickly, and they don’t really think, for themselves. If the book would have ended just after Caesar’s death, it has surely been given the proper name. Although he was not the hero according to Shakespeare’s definition, he was surely the main character of the play. But then Antony came along, and the crowd quickly decided that they like him better. Once again, if the play had ended there, the best name for the play would have been Antony. However, the play continued, and Brutus was suddenly the crowd favourite. When the play ended, he still was. And so, this is, presumably, a good reason that the play might have been better off with a different name.
As you can see, the proper name for Julius Caesar is not really that clear. However, Shakespeare was a master of writing. It must, then, be presumed that he had a valid reason for naming it the way he did. And so, as a result, we must also presume that the play was properly named Julius Caesar.
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