Julius Caesar

Manhood and Honor Theme Analysis

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LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Julius Caesar, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon

Julius Caesar is quite a macho play, with characters constantly examining their actions in light of their relationship to accepted ideas of manly virtue and strength. Rome is an Empire (though it is not yet ruled by an Emperor), militaristically maintained, and the model of the "good soldier" extends to the citizen and politician as well. Although there's lots of violence in the play, it's not only physical strength and fighting ability that constitute manliness: many characters feel compelled to mask any traditionally "weak" emotions, like fear and sadness, as well as their personal desires and, to an extent, free will. Brutus, for instance, feels compelled to give way to the logic that demands Caesar's death, even though he loves Caesar and is repelled by the idea emotionally. Caesar himself must go to the Capitol even though he suspects his approaching murder, because Caesar feels he must be unwavering, and because death "will come when it will come."

The willingness to abandon self-interest, to brave pain and death for the good of Rome, or to avoid dishonor, is essential to gaining respect. This "virtue" is what demands Brutus's initial complicity in the plot, and his eventual suicide. Portia, as well, ashamed of her female identity, stabs herself in the thigh to prove she can be trusted, and eventually kills herself in the most painful way she can imagine. Ironically, it is the least "manly" of the major characters—Antony, who loves art and parties, weeps openly during his eulogy for Caesar, and symbolically appears naked in his first scene—who emerges victorious at the play's end (though his emotional nature will be his undoing in Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare's "sequel" to Julius Caesar).

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Manhood and Honor ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Manhood and Honor appears in each scene of Julius Caesar. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Manhood and Honor Quotes in Julius Caesar

Below you will find the important quotes in Julius Caesar related to the theme of Manhood and Honor.
Act 1, scene 2 Quotes
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Related Characters: Caius Cassius (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Page Number: 1.2.140-142
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, scene 1 Quotes
I grant I am a woman; but withal a woman that Lord Brutus took to wife; I grant I am a woman; but withal a women well reputed, Cato's daughter. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, being so father'd, and so husbanded? Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose'em. I have made a strong proof of my constancy, giving myself a voluntary wound here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience, and not my husband's secrets?
Related Characters: Portia (speaker), Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain
Page Number: 2.1.315-325
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, scene 2 Quotes
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker)
Related Symbols: Omens, Body, Blood, & Pain
Page Number: 2.2.34-39
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 1 Quotes
Caesar: The ides of March are come.
Soothsayer: Aye, Caesar, but not gone.
Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker), Soothsayer (speaker)
Related Symbols: Omens
Page Number: 3.1.1-2
Explanation and Analysis:

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Et tu, Bruté? — Then fall, Caesar!
Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker), Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.1.85
Explanation and Analysis:

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Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker)
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.1.299
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, —
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men, —
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.2.82-96
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, scene 1 Quotes
But this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why, then, this parting was well made.
Related Characters: Marcus Brutus (speaker), Caius Cassius
Related Symbols: Omens
Page Number: 5.1.123-129
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, scene 5 Quotes
This was the noblest Roman of all
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, "This was a man."
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 5.5.74-81
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, scene 3 Quotes
Remember March, the ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What, shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
Related Characters: Marcus Brutus (speaker), Julius Caesar
Related Symbols: Omens, Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 4.3.19-29
Explanation and Analysis:

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There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Related Characters: Marcus Brutus (speaker)
Page Number: 4.3.249-255
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui offic

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