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Julius Caesar Pride Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #4

Caesar shall forth. The things that threatened me
Ne'er looked but on my back. When they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished. (2.2.10-12)

Caesar is shockingly cocky.  Even if he just talks a good game, it's hard to be sympathetic toward him.

Quote #5

O Caesar, read mine first, for mine's a suit
That touches Caesar nearer. Read it, great Caesar.
What touches us ourself shall be last served. (3.1.6-8)

This seems like a bad time for Caesar to be self-sacrificing.  Then again, we've only seen Caesar be really arrogant when he's being challenged.  What evidence do we have that Caesar would put his own affairs above the affairs of the state?

Quote #6

I could be well moved, if I were as you.
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me.
But I am constant as the Northern Star,
Of whose true fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks;
They are all fire, and every one doth shine.
But there's but one in all doth hold his place.
So in the world: 'tis furnished well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive.
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion; and that I am he
Let me a little show it, even in this;
That I was constant Cimber should be banished 
And constant do remain to keep him so. (3.1.64-79)

During Caesar's famous "I'm the brightest star in the sky" speech, he claims to be the most "constant" (steady) guy in the universe because he can't be swayed by the personal appeals of other men. This says a whole lot about Caesar's character, don't you think? When Caesar aligns himself with the "northern star," he attempts to elevate himself above all other men. According to Caesar, even though there are other stars (men) in the sky (Rome), "there's but one in all doth hold his place." In other words, Caesar claims that he's the only guy solid enough to rule Rome (as evidenced by his refusal to relent after having banished Cimber).

The irony here is that Caesar delivers this big, fancy speech mere seconds before he's assassinated. Just as our superstar declares how "unshak[able]" and immovable he is, the conspirators surround him and then stab him to death (33 times!), obviously unseating him from power. But before we conclude that Caesar isn't as "constant" as he claims to be, we should also keep in mind that, centuries after the historical (and still famous) Caesar was assassinated, Shakespeare wrote a play about him...and we're still reading it.

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