The play Julius Caesar by William Shakespear, contains no true friendships. Friendship is an important element in the play and it also seals the protagonist’s, Julius Caesar’s, fate. The friendships in the play are used to blind Caesar from the truth and the plots against him. Little gestures the main characters bring about provide trust with Caesar, therefore portraying the key to all friendships. The trust would later be lost and transform into betrayal.
Although Caesar is murdered because of the plots against him, friendship is still considered a valid theme because it had covered the conspirators intentions of murdering Caesar. Caesar was vulnerable to the power of friendship and was blinded by his trust in Decius, Brutus, and the other conspirators. Decius uses flattery and persuasion to form a strong union with Caesar. Decius is an active member of the Conspirators, so he is motivated into getting Caesar to go to the Senate House. The first thing that Decius says when he walks into Caesar’s house is “Caesar, all hail!
Good morrow, worthy Caesar. “(2. 2. 61) Decius would also refer to Caesar as “most mighty”. This would only make Caesar grow comfortable with Decius. Caesar lost all feelings of doubt and did not presume any plot against him. Decius deceived Julius into thinking that they had a resilient friendship by using his devious words. Caesar was not able to foresee his true faithful friends, such as Antony. Antony grieved the killing of Julius and tried to justify his murder by killing Brutus and Cassius.
Antony was one of Julius’s true and trustworthy friends. The conspirators had planned the death of Caesar. Brutus and Cassius, along with Decius, knew they had draw in to Caesar close. Proving Caesar that they had a firm friendship, that would solidify their situation and leave Julius completely sightless to his doomed fate. Caesar’s wife Calphurnia has a dream. She sees Caesar’s statue run with blood and men with swords surrounding him. This event alarms Julius making him weary, causing internal conflict. Decius would asses Calphurnia’s dream.
Using his quick wit, he would distort Calphurnia’s foreshadowing dream by stating that it was simply miss-interpreted. He explains that the dream “Signifies that from (Caesar) Rome shall suck Reviving blood, and that great men shall press for tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance”(2. 3. 58) Caesar seems to be amazed by this version of the interpretation. This would be a key point in the play because this vision made by Decius would capture Caesar’s gullible mind, and the conspirators would gain Julius’s trust; therefore gain his friendship as well.
Antony proves to be crafty with his actions and words towards Brutus and the conspirators. He deceives Brutus and the other conspirators to gain their reliance and friendship. Antony is angered by the death of Caesar because he was a true friend to Julius. He would mourn Caesar’s death. After a brief minute of expressing sorrow, Antony would state “Friend am I with you all, and love you all” Antony is using these words to manipulate Brutus, he would say this so he could persuade Brutus and put his doubts at ease.
Antony asks to give the tribute at Caesar’s funeral, and Brutus agrees without any hesitation. Antony then gets up to the stage and uses his witty charm and wise words. He starts off with “You gentle Romans, Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. “(3. 2. 72) Antony would manipulate and persuade the whole crowd of plebeians to despise Brutus. This betrayal was all led from the murder of Julius. Antony and Brutus would only go to war causing an external conflict. Friendship unfolds throughout the whole play. There are many persuasive and manipulating moments.
Caesar’s weakness of flattery and manipulation would let him be blinded by friendship; it is his character flaw and downfall. Trust was very fragile and the key to friendship, and in some cases it was easily gained. Brutus and Cassius are very persuasive and clever in their ways of plotting against Caesar. Antony, who was Caesar’s true friend in all of the conspiracy, gains Brutus’s trust only to betray him and justify Julius’s murder. All of these men are fooled or betrayed by the manipulation of trust and friendship.