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Julius Caesar And Macbeth Comparison

The two tragedies that are written by “Julius Caesar and “Macbeth” are pretty much similar when one talks about their basic plot and premises (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970). The stories are about the conspiracy and, later on, an agreement between the people to carry out an illegal act. In both cases, the plot involves killing someone who is in a higher power (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970). The key difference, though, is the perspective of the people who are involved in the story and some of the reasons behind that conspiracy. The aftermath of the conspiracy is also considerably different from each other (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970).

Nature Of The Conspiracy

Looking closely at the plot of both these plays, it can be said that the way conspiracy is being shaped, both the stories revolve around the killing of a king (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970). However, the main difference that one gets to see is how people are involved during the due course as well the ultimate plan that one gets to see for it (Lear et al. 2000). Talking about “Julius Caesar” there were many conspirators such as Brutus, Cassius and Decius that hatched the plot. Especially if one talks about Cassius, his role is important due to the fact that he was the one who came up with the idea. Not only that, but he also persuaded the rest of the people to ensure that the execution of the idea was being done (Lear et al. 2000). On the other hand, if one talks about the way the plot unfolded during the course of the Macbeth (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970). In this play, the whole premise of the plot revolves around certain individuals. Not many people were involved in the assassination attempt, and it was not as well planned as a murder; instead, it can be regarded as a matter of impulse and how this whole thing unfolded during the given time period of the play (Lear et al. 2000). So the level of planning and detail that went into the plan was different (Kaufmann and Clifford, 1970).

Foreshadowing Of The Events And Death

There is an element of foreshadowing in both the stories. The way these stories panned out, it can be seen that both the anti-heroes are well aware of the fact that their fates are sealed; Brutus and Macbeth, who both are anti-heroes in this story, are able to see the fact that their time is close (Shakespeare et al. 2017). The difference is that Brutus has anticipated his death for a very long time. Comparing the situation with Macbeth in the earlier part of the issue, it was later on in the story that it dawned upon him that his days are numbered (Lear et al. 2000). Thus, Macbeth tried to make sure that he died during the course of the battle in a noble manner. Macbeth was eventually successful in doing that as he failed in combat against the Macduff (Lear et al. 2000). Brutus, on the other, succeeded in making sure that they were able to commit the Roman equivalent of the seppuku (Shakespeare et al. 2017). So even though the death of both the characters is well known, the way they reacted to this realization is also different, which is in sync with the character of these people (Lear et al. 2000).

Death Of The Spouse

The other similarity between the plots is how they involve the death of the spouses of each of the respective antiheroes. Now, it has to be noted that as far as the her role and active involvement, Lady Macbeth is one of the most important pawns in the play, she gets a bit panicky and is later disposed off in a very discrete fashion during the course of the narrative. The word that is being used to discuss the way she killed herself through harsh means. Portia, on the other hand, comes across as a dutiful wife of Brutus, and the key difference between both women is that, unlike Macbeth, she is not that assertive, and there is a bit of naivety in the way she does her thing (Lear et al. 2000). Her health is also far from ideal. Later on, she also kills her off-stage, and the whole thing is described as how she ate fire. There are different versions and interpretations of the story. Some people claim that she had swallowed live coals, which resulted in burning her innards (Shakespeare et al. 2017). In both cases, the husband is sad after the death, but due to the lack of time that they had at their disposal, they are not able to mourn their death in a proper manner (Lear et al. 2000).

Interpretation Of The Supernatural Theme

The way supernatural themes and imagery are discussed during the narrative is also quite similar to each other (Lear et al. 2000). There is a large presence looming of the independent practitioners of the supernatural art (Lear et al. 2000). While the Scottish play starts with three witches, they made sure that they withheld some information from Macbeth and that makes them all the more intriguing (Shakespeare et al. 2017). Not only that, they serve as a large part of the amount of mischief that one gets to see in the play (Shakespeare et al. 2017). On the other hand, the same role is being played by soothsayers who Julius Caesar consults time after time (Shakespeare et al. 2017). The major diversion, though, in both the plays is that, on the one hand, Macbeth seems to be listening to the portents even when he is not supposed to. Caesar does not think highly of these people, and their advice is not heeded at all by Caesar (Lear et al. 2000). As is the case pointed out before, Pretty much like another famous character from Shakespeare, Hamlet, Caesar all the costs make an effort that the surgery has to be defied (Lear et al. 2000). This is especially the case where Macbeth and Hamlet are interesting their ideas about the superstitions and the way they play.


The way both these characters are framed in these tragedies is quite similar, but it is the circumstances that they are surrounded by and the choices that they make them different from each other (Lear et al. 2000). The power dynamics and the understanding of the power is also similar in both the individuals. The key difference, though, is the fact that Caesar comes across as someone who is aware of his reach and the extent of his power. He has a fair hold of these ambitions, while on the other hand, Macbeth comes across as someone who is more interested in gaining the power, though he does not have much of an idea of what he would be doing with this power once he gets the hold of it (Lear et al. 2000). The class difference and the upbringing of these people is such that they have a strong sense of self-entitlement with regards to the way they get their things done (Lear et al. 2000).

Works Cited

Kaufmann, R. J., and Clifford J. Ronan. “Shakespeare’s” Julius Caesar”: An Apollonian and Comparative Reading.” Comparative Drama (1970): 18-51.

Lear, Othello, Coriolanus Macbeth, and Antony Julius Caesar. “Shakespeare and the Bible.” ARMENIAN FOLIA ANGLISTIKA (2000): 113.

Shakespeare, William, and Grace Ioppolo. Measure For Measure: The Folio of 1623. Routledge, 2017.



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