Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

8) Why does Caesar refuse the crown when Antony offers it to him?

There are differing responses to this question, depending on which character provides the answer. Casca explains to Brutus and Cassius that, in the arena, Caesar refused the crown every time Antony offered it because each time he refused, the crowd responded uproariously. Casca observes that “he would fain have had it,” implying that Caesar’s refusal was, essentially, theater and that he was simply pandering to the crowd. On the other hand, Antony uses the same incident to reveal that Caesar refused the crown because he was not ambitious or power-hungry. However, it’s more likely that Caesar’s motivations were as Casca implies: Caesar theatrically refused the crown to further secure the hearts and minds of the people, and he fully intended to accept the crown when the senate officially offered it to him.