Life and politics in ancient Rome were much different from life and politics now, yet also somewhat similar in ways. In the first act of the play we have been introduced to the ancient roman government system. Politicians were elected as they are now, but the only people who got elected were patrician (higher class people) and men. These were also the only people who were able to vote, plebs (the lower class, commoners), and women had absolutely no say, yet they still had to go along with and be okay with everything that was going on. It is clear to see from this that the higher class obviously had a better quality of life with more freedoms, but the ones that were in charge also got to tell everyone else what to do, and the thing is everyone listened and did as they were told. Ancient Rome was almost turning into a dictatorship under the power of Julius Caesar, he tells everyone what to believe and they begin to believe it because of his charm. We have also learned of the two different value systems of this time period. Epicurean: who believed in personal advantage, free will, lots of choice, and doing what you want without reason. and… Stoic: who believed in fate, the facts, controlling your emotions, and that everything happens for a reason. Whichever one of these you chose to believe in also varied your quality of life, if you were epicurean you would be very happy living under the reign of Julius Caesar, but if you were a stoic it would be much harder to accept the things he was saying and doing.
So far I am very intrigued by the character Mark Antony. He is Caesars right hand man and the person that Caesar trusts more than anyone, but I don’t think that Antony feels the same way about Caesar. Mark Antony and Caesars wife Calpurnia are ‘involved’ with each other and either Caesar sees this and is okay with it or he is completely blind to it and trust’s his friend a tad too much. He also is very valued to Caesar and has gained his trust completely, so anything that Antony says to him he will believe. In my opinion Antony is very smart but he is very good at pretending to be dumb so that is what Caesar thinks he is, and I believe this act is working and that he has Caesar completely wrapped around his finger. This will lead to personal gain for Mark Antony and extreme loss for Julius Caesar.
Near the end of scene two Cassius is speaking to only the audience he speaks about Brutus and Caesar and how Caesar likes Brutus and doesn’t like Cassius. Cassius also explains to us as the audience that if he were Brutus he would use this to his advantage and he decides that he truly needs Brutus in the conspiracy against Caesar. So he decides to send him fake notes as if they were coming from different citizens, all complimenting and flattering Brutus to win him over. The most interesting thing about this conversation Cassius has with the audience is that he is being completely honest, there is no other character there for him to manipulate. He is alone with his own thoughts so we are really truly hearing what is going on in his head.