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Roles of Justice and Injustice in "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar"

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The Roles of Justice and Injustice
Justice and injustice have played a part in many human interactions that have happened throughout history. Judges have long been appointed to decide what is just and unjust among humans. The main problem that arises is to decide whether a happening is justice or injustice since it is often all part of point of view. In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, justice and injustice both play huge roles in almost every aspect of the play. The goal of this essay is to identify some of the examples of justice and injustice throughout the play and to describe how those examples represent justice or injustice.
In Act I, Scene II, Caesar shows the first sign of justice, or rather injustice, of the play. This act of injustice was, unknowingly by Caesar, aimed at himself and also caused because of his own actions with the Soothsayer. When the Soothsayer warns Caesar of the ides of March, he arrogantly replies,”He is a dreamer, let us leave him. Pass.”(1.2.24). It could be argued that this ultimately is the cause of Caesar's death since he was warned long ahead of time. Caesar's arrogance clouds his logical thinking and keeps him from seeing the danger that the ides of March hold.
A second happening of justice comes also in Act I, Scene II, when Cassius notices Caesar's increasing ambition and strengthening pride which in turn causes him to begin to coordinate the overthrow of Caesar. In doing this, he shows how much he cares for the good of the Republic and of the people of Rome and how he wants to protect the people from

Caesar becoming too powerful as a dictator of Rome. This act also shows an injustice toward Caesar since Cassius is betraying his oaths to Caesar as the Emperor (although it is no longer rightfully Caesar's position since he forcefully kept his position as an absolute dictator even though his allotted time was up). This is a just act on Cassius's part as he does what he thinks is best for Rome.
Another moment where justice is shown is when Brutus steps forward and says that they should not act as butchers when killing Caesar but to “carve him as a dish fit for the gods”(2.1.164,173). Brutus is being just in saying that they should not murder him wrathfully but rather sacrifice him as it is an act that needs to be done. Along with this act is another when Brutus decides that Antony should not be killed along with Caesar but should be spared which is the opposite of what Cassius wants. Brutus justifies this decision by saying that he doesn't want to kill Caesar's supporters along with him because it would make their actions more bloody than they needed to be (2.1.155-165). He shows justice through mercy by choosing not to kill Antony though this later proves to be a poor decision.
In Caesar's conversation with Calphurnia and his servant, he commits a second act of injustice against himself. Calphurnia asks Caesar not to go out during the ides of March because she fears the unusual things that have been happening (2.2.25,26). Caesar hears her out but does not do what she asks because he thinks it would be cowardly. This is the second time that he has done an unjust act against himself and this gets him even closer to his own death. In the same way as the time before, Caesar's arrogance and pride is his downfall and the injustice caused to himself was his own fault.
In Act III, Scene I, Caesar once again commits an act of injustice against himself when Artemidorus writes a letter to warn him of the conspiracy against him and the plans of the

conspirators to kill him that day but Caesar does not read it. When Artemidorus tries to urge Caesar to read the letter right then, Caesar takes offense at his pushy demeanor and brushes him off. Caesar's arrogance once again causes him to be unjust to himself in his own actions by bringing his own death ever closer.
Another act of injustice occurs when Antony decides that he wants to reduce the amount of money that is given to the people in Caesar's will(4.1.9.). Antony is being unjust to the people of Rome by being stingy and not wanting the people to have the money that Caesar had promised them in his will. This is a very unjust action because it is not his money to decide what to do with in the first place yet he seems to think it is.
Justice as well as injustice can be an act of one person against another such as Cassius's decision to lead Caesars overthrow, or one person against himself such as the many times Caesar refused to listen to those warnings against him. Many times the justice or injustice is caused by someone involving themselves in the affairs of somebody else or contrastingly, not paying enough attention to their own affairs.

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