Deception, whether it is used for good or for evil is the method of choice that many figures use to manipulate others in order to get one’s way. Many characters in the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, unconsciously make choices based upon deception and logical tricks, setting themselves up in order to be used for another character’s relevance. Brutus, a noble friend and an idealistic man, questions his ties with a returning friend and makes a decision anyone would later regret.
Decius intentionally re interprets Calpurnia’s dream which results in Caesar making his last trip to the capitol while Antony convinces the Common Roman people to turn against the so called “honorable” man. Brutus only has himself to blame for being susceptible to Cassius’s manipulative ways. Just as Caesar returns from victory, Cassius questions the reasons that make Caesar better than Brutus. Cassius interrogates, “‘Brutus’ and ‘Caesar’: what should be in that ‘Caesar’? / Why should that name be sounded more than yours? / Write them together: yours is as fair a name” (I. i. 151-153) Comparable to any other mortal man, Caesar lives the same mortal life as all the other Roman people.
Cassius makes Brutus ponder, and Brutus realizes that Caesar truly is no better than him. In order to gain Brutus’s final go ahead in the planning, Cassius creates falsified letters from the roman people roaring, “Brutus, thou sleep’st. Awake, and see thyself! / Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress”(II. i. 48-49) Cassius intentionally writes these letters vaguely, causing Brutus to fill in the blanks to pertain the letters to himself.
The main message of the letters attempt to tell Brutus that Caesar has too much power and should not be allowed such an influence on Rome. Brutus reads these letters just as Cassius thought he would and he makes his final decision to join the conspirators. Caesar on the other hand, is not naive like Brutus but instead he is too arrogant to notice the signs of his near death. For instance, the Soothsayer attempts to warn him and cries out, “Beware the ides of March” (….. ) but the imperious Caesar laughs and ignores him. Calpurnia, the wife of Caesar, wakes up from a terrifying dream that her husband’s statue was spouting blood.
She asks for Caesar to stay home for the day in order to stay safe. For Calpurnia’s sake, Caesar decides to spend the day at home, and when the conspirators hear of this they immediately send Decius to his house. Decius flatters him and tells Caesar that it would sound cowardly if he were to tell the Senate why he chose to stay home. Deceivingly, Decius says, “If you shall send them word you will not come, / Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock” (II. ii. 100-101) Decius convincingly tells Caesar that if he were to not appear, the Senate may change their thoughts of him.
Caesar overlooks Calpurnia’s frightful dream and insists on traveling to the capitol. Succeeding the assassination, Antony, another manipulator, politely states to Brutus that he deserves to talk at Caesar’s’ funeral: That’s all I seek; And am, moreover, suitor that I may Produce his body to the marketplace, And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, Speak in the order of his funeral. (III. i. 249-252) As an old friend, Antony’s plan is to speak on behalf of Caesar. Brutus, being so naive, accepts Antony’s request and allows him to speak under one condition; Brutus must speak first.
Brutus truly believes that if he speaks first it will give the conspirators a decent advantage. After his speech, he feels satisfied because the common people seem to agree with his reasonings. As Antony’s speech begins, he seems to have abandoned his previous ideas of only speaking on behalf of a good friend. He embarks, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” (III. ii. 82-83) Antony feels the necessity to specifically mention that he will not praise Caesar, but just bury him in favor to the conspirators.
He also brings attention to the fact that he will not place any blame on the conspirators since he understands their reasons for stabbing Caesar. Speaking to the common people, Antony reiterates throughout his speech, “But Brutus says he was ambitious; / And Brutus is an honourable man” (III. ii. 95-96) Brutus had said that Caesar had ambition, showing strong desire and determination, and Brutus is an honourable man so every man should deem that. Antony attempts to express that if Caesar were such an ambitious man, why would the honourable Brutus do such a thing. It takes a deceiver to know one and of all the characters, Brutus is greatest eceived.
He was manipulated into slaughtering his best friend, and if Brutus were to reject the position in the murder then Decius would not have had to convince Caesar to come to the capitol and Antony would not have had to deceive the crowd of roman people. Antony and Cassius are the finest deceptors of the most naive people and Brutus can only blame himself. William Shakespeare’s, A tragedy of Julius Caesar is written with multiple manipulative scenes to add suspense throughout the story. Obviously deception will always be one way to acquire what you want, whether it is used in a good or evil way.