- Published: November 21, 2022
- Updated: November 21, 2022
- University / College: McGill University
- Level: Undergraduate
- Language: English
- Downloads: 5
The play Julius Caesar was written by William Shakespeare during the 16th century. However, there is some controversy about when it was first written because the play was published in print in around 1623 AD. Although the play is very famous, it has never been mentioned among Shakespeare’s literary works, which revolved around the themes of comedy and tragedy. Despite this, the overwhelming consensus of opinion is that the Folio text of Julius Caesar is the ‘best-printed play’. Most Shakespearean plays offer strongest evidence for understanding the play and the author.
Julius Caesar fought many wars, most of which ended with him on the victorious side. The play contains many themes and images associated with war scenes. One of the most recognizable themes in the play is ‘blood imagery’. Imagery is descriptive language used in literature that is added to scenes and can be applied to these senses. It makes the reader or audience develop a better understanding of the meanings indicated in an image or described in a scene. One of the most important devices of writing which Shakespeare used was blood imagery. This was used mainly to spice up the conflict of the play.
The play is categorized as a historical tragedy; this suggests that there is conflict, fight, and struggle involved. As a consequence of any war there must be bloodshed. Blood imagery is typically associated with the theme of love. In this play, the audience can note that the whole play is built around the use of blood imagery. For instance, in the scene where Cassius kills one of his soldiers because he ran away from his enemies. This image can be connected to the themes of power and loyalty. Moreover, the scene where Julius Caesar is killed can be associated with the love of Rome. Nevertheless, the time when Brutus attempts to kill Caesar displays blood imagery as a whole. The first part indicates that Caesar’s tragedy is planned through Brutus mounting the resoluteness and consolidation of conspirators set against the power and isolation of Caesar. For another example, when the conspirators decide to take up an oath, and Brutus says ” when every drop of blood that every Roman bears, and nobly bears, is guilty of a several bastardy,” this indicates that the blood of a Roman is a symbol of love to Rome (Brockbank et al., 1984). Also, when Brutus says to his wife ” you are my true and honorable wife, as dear as are the ruddy drops that visit my sad heart,” this blood image is associated to the love between a husband and wife (Brockbank et al., 1984). Another blood image that shows love between a husband and wife occurs when Portia, Brutus’s wife, says ” giving myself a voluntary wound here in the thigh. Can I bear that with patience and not my husband’s secrets?” (Brockbank et al., 1984). This demonstrates how much she loves her husband to the point where she cuts her hand with a knife and tells her husband hat as long as she can bear the pain of the wound then she can bear to hide the secret. Furthermore, when Brutus says ” I had rather coin my heart and drop my blood for drachmas than to wring,” this talks about Brutus’s love to his people (Brockbank et al., 1984).
In conclusion, Julius Caesar contains many blood images to emphasize and show the conflicts and wars that the characters have gone through. Every image is associated with the theme of love, whether is to Rome, friends, or husbands and wives. The play also contains a climax that is typical of Shakespearean works.
Brockbank, P., Gibbons, B., Hood, R., & Braunmuller, A. R. (Eds.). (1984). Reference: THE NEW CAMBRIDGE SHAKESPEARE. University of Munster and University of California, Los Angeles.
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