Julius Caesar - The victim of betrayal
Julius Caesar, one might think is not perfect, for no one is perfect, he does have his own set of flaws. Caesar does boast about himself, "Caesar should be a beast without a heart / If he should stay at home to-day for fear. / No, Caesar shall not; Danger knows full well / That Caesar is more dangerous than he" (II.ii.42-45). This is a clear example of freewill because he chooses not to listen to his wife when she pleads with him not to go to Senate, and yet he still continues to go to Senate. Freewill being the most powerful aspect of humanity but it can also have its toll on someone less fortunate if not used with caution, and can lead to their fate and consequences. Julius Caesar tries to make himself look better by adding, "But I am constant as the northern star, / Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality" (III.i.60-61). This is during his murder scene that Caesar says these lines, and he also refers to the prayers and his movement. The way that Caesar looks at everything with open eyes really intrigues me as to why must he see everything in the way that he does. Does he not want to accept his fate, or he does, and just decides to not fight the course of events? He lets freewill take its course in the action and play of events. By using the power of freewill, he lets his own fate decide what is going to happen to him. Just within the monologue of Caesar, Shakespeare's use of freewill and fate really demonstrate themselves.
Brutus - Man's best friend :)
Brutus, one of the main characters and Julius' best friend, and his murderer, definately has importance when it comes to the debate on Fate vs. Freewill. He is one of the major causes of suffering throughout this play, yet he is not in it alone. Other characters help him throughout the way and aid him in this plot to kill Julius Caesar. In the famous murder scene, at the moment that Brutus stabs Julius Caesar, Caesar calls out, "Et tu, Brute? - Then fall Caesar!" (III.i.77). This scene is right in the middle of the play, and is perhaps the most important scene not only because is has so much of meaning, but because we are revealed the true identities of both Caesar, and of Brutus. This last statement that Julius Caesar makes, puts Brutus in the clear of who he really is, as a friend and as a nobleman of Rome. I would consider this scene to be the highest level of deception one can do to not only a friend, but to betray one's trust, and be persuaded and influenced to a level that one is able to go through with the plan. If one has the strong ambition and enough influence to do so, then I guess there is no chance in backing out. This line also says a lot about the character of Julius Caesar as well because this statement translates to him saying, "And you too Brutus?" An analysis on this line according to Julius Caesar's point of view would go something like this, "If Brutus, my friend feels the need to kill me and is doing so, then there should be a good reason behind this plot, which I should not question, and I must have done something on my part that Brutus must have not liked, and thus I should accept my fate and die." In this part, fate and freewill do go hand in hand with each other, just because, was it really fate for Caesar to die at the hands of Brutus? Or did he really have the freewill to choose his fate at the point of time? When Mark Antony was referring to Brutus when he was addressing the state of Rome, he mentioned that Brutus was being ambitious and saying that Brutus was an honest man. Brutus did have an ambition - to become King and to have the throne all to himself, and will stop at nothing to make sure that there are no obstacles in his way, not even his friend - Caesar whose rightful place is on the throne of the Roman Kingdom.
Calphurnia - Wife of Julius Caesar
Calphurnia, the faithful and loving wife to Julius Caesar plays an important role in this play even though she is only seen in one scene but throws a punch with her powerful dialogues. She plays a part in telling Caesar not to go to the Senate for she fears for his life. She tells him that she never heeded in omens but because the Ides of March, also a major theme in the play, is nearing, she fears for the worse to come. She warns Caesar not to go outside and to stay inside and that she fears that there is evil lurking around, anything can happen at any moment. "Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, / Yet now they fright me. There is one within, / Besides the things that we have heard and seen, / Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch / A lioness hath whelped in the streets..." (II.ii.13-17). Julius Caesar uses his power of frewill to at first to obey his wife, and this action of freewill actually enhances his fate as we will see in his death. Unfortunately Caesar changes his mind and even comments on the words of his wife, when a messenger comes to get Caesar to go to Senate, this enhances his fate, for he chose to go with his messenger.
Cassius - The compelling force behind the murder
To commit to something, one needs, first an ambition, an idea to be planted, influence to help guide the thought procecss, and then someone to plant that idea in one's head in the first place. Guess who I am talking about? Yup that's right! Cassius, another close comrade to Julius Caesar and Brutus, and the one who is the master behind the plot to get rid of Julius Caesar. He sees the anger brewing within Brutus and helps guide this anger into a form that is possible to work with, plotting against Caesar. He helps Brutus realize what he wants, and helps him to achieve it along the way, aiding him with anything that will get become an obstacle to his plan. Cassius also has his share of famous lines from the play, where he says, to Brutus, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / but in ourselves" (I.ii.40-41). What I understood from this line is that fate does not decide who we are, but our actions and how we protray ourselves; mainly our character tells who we are. Do not blame fate as the driving force that led to the consequences, but blame our character, actions and perspective. There is a famous proverb, the ones you associate with will tell you who you are as a person; your firends will tell you who you are. Freewill is a consequence in this line, and because Brutus tends to think with his mind and not with his heart, is why he chose to do the things he did, and if he did chose to think with his heart, he wouldn't have committed such a grave sin in his right mind.