How does Shakespeare characterize Caesar?
- Look at the attitude Caesar has towards what he sees as Antony's current corruption compared with the old, austere Antony (1.4.16-33 and 35-71).
- Look at Caesar's decision to accept Agrippa's proposal of marriage between Antony and Octavia (2.2.117-172).
- Look at Caesar's rather reluctant participation in the revels aboard Pompey's galley (2.7, especially 100-26).
- Look at his farewell to Octavia (3.2.24-41).
- Consider his welcome to her when he knows that Antony has returned to Egypt, but also knows that she has not yet heard the news (3.6.39-90).
In the scene immediately before it, Enobarbus and Eros--reasonably unbiased commentators--discuss Caesar's tactics in getting rid of both Pompey and Lepidus.
- Look at Caesar's final speeches when he hears of the deaths of Antony (5.1.35-51) and Cleopatra (5.2.352-65)? Do these speeches modify in any way your sense of his character?
- What effect does this news have on our response to Caesar as he speaks to Octavia?
- Is Caesar at all like other such figures of political power, such as Bolingbroke, Claudius, Fortinbras, Macbeth, Goneril or Regan?