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Julius Caesar vs. Mean Girls

Info: 1361 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 11th Oct 2021 in Film Studies

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Though Julius Caesar and Mean Girls are far different genres, one being a tragedy and one being a drama, they share a similarity in the fact that in each story, the main character's downfall can be attributed to jealousy. This is shown in Shakespearean plays from the 1500's and in modern movies created by Tina Fey.

The story of Julius Caesar, is a fine example of the star character getting sucked into jealousy. Mean Girls is a movie from the early 2000's, which shows very similar ways of Julius Caesar proving that the movie was adjusted from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

Mean Girls, occurs in Evanston, Illinois. Cady the new girl at school, makes friends with two others, Janis and Damian, who go on to show her the "plastics", who are the most popular girls and own the highest status at school. The girl group of Gretchen, Regina and Karen. Janis goes on to talk Cady into intruding the "plastics" to get rid of Regina because she's too mean to be the leader of the school. This lets Cady take over Regina for her popularity.

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The story of Julius Caesar occurs in Rome while fighting in war. After Julius Caesar comes back from the war, he is automatically bowed down to for the things he did in the battle. The senators, Cassius and Brutus, become nervous about his leadership role and are terrified that Julius will attempt to become the Emperor of the Republic. Cassius right away becomes envious of his Julius' new status and that is when Julius is murdered by Brutus out of pure jealousy. When Caesar passes, a war occurs where Anthony is now the true leader of Rome. There are so many similarities between the two stories.

The characters within the movie, act as the characters within the play. Regina George is a prime comparison of Julius Caesar. Regina the head honcho of the school, leads with power and status much like Julius Caesar does in the play All of her classmates were very jealous of her but many were scared that she contained all of the power and could become unstoppable with her popularity. Caesar was applauded when taking down Pompom, although many Romans were nervous about all of his power. In time, Regina was plotted against in order to ruin her reputation in school by Cady and Janice, much like Caesar was fought against by Cassius and Brutus in the old time play. Cassius was the leader of taking down Caesar, similar to when Janis talks to Cady stating that because she is new in school, the could be the chance they needed, to eliminate the leader as this is what the whole school truly wants because "Regina ruins lives" (Mean Girls).

Cassius chats to Brutus stating, "Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world /Like a Colossus, and we petty men / Walk under his huge legs and peep about" ( Caesar 1.2.142-144). Cassius hates that Julius treats himself like the best or like God, Janis can't stand how Regina acts as she is the leader or runs the school. Janis and Cassius take advantage of Cady. Cady and Brutus are both the enemies in each of these stories. Cady is talked into by her friends, Janis and Damian, to proceed to use her new girl power and begin to roast Regina so she can end Regina's powerful stint within the school. This destroys Regina's power and eliminates the plastics throughout school. Cassius brainwashes Brutus, explaining that everyone would like if Julius was gone forever. Brutus creates a plan to murder Julius, making Brutus stab Caesar, eventually killing his power and him. Cady deals with the consequence of her deed, turning plastic without being aware of it. Brutus was considered the worst then eventually loved by many of the Romans.

In the end, Anthony is Caesar's go to guy and proves his dedication to Caesar. But Caesar is murdered and Anthony is now the new leader of Rome. At the end of the film after the plastics are disrupted, Gretchen goes on to be the queen of the Asian table. Both Anthony and Gretchen backstab their leaders and create ways to benefit themselves from this.

Jealousy is the message within both of these stories. Cassius is jealous of Caesar's power and does not appreciate his new role. He speaks to Brutus stating, " I was born free as Caesar; so were you:/ We both have fed as well, and we can both / Endure the winter's cold as well as he" (Act I, sc.II, 97-99). Cassius obviously doesn't think that Julius should contain the power he has. In the play, Cassius then throws letters that give hype to Brutus and is against Caesar. The letters were a message of manipulation to get Brutus to feel jealous that even though he is being bowed down to, Caesar still contains every bit of the power. The plan used to take down Regina is manipulative and Janis states, "How do you overthrow an evil dictator? You take away her resources. She would be nothing without her man-candy, technically good physique and evil followers."

Right here is when Cady starts to take Regina's man, giving her fat bars and creating more of Gretchen's jealousy. The last bit in Mean Girls was when Cady takes the jealously of Gretchen to turn her against Regina. Without Gretchen, Regina's stint as time as the leader of the plastics is considered absolutely nothing. It is very obvious that Gretchen becomes jealous easily and caves when she is talking to the class about the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. She continues to chat to the class that "Why should Caesar just get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet?... when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody because that's not what Rome is about! We should totally just stab Caesar!". Right then and there, the class can spot out that Gretchen is no longer considered Regina's go-to person due to her jealousy. When Gretchen is not on Regina's side, the plastics are completely ruined. This is similar to how Julius would not be as powerful without Rome and the Senators.

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There are various comparisons between the play and this movie, as there are also a lot of differences. For example, the setting and era that the stories took place are obviously different. There are so many differences in the stories so modern day people can compare to the time and the location. The Mean Girls film occurred in the United States in 2004. The audience this film was intended for, was for the younger generation in our country. The location helped the younger generation compared to the old time story, since it was similar to their lives. Since it was placed in a modern day time, it explains the modern culture and morals better. One other difference within the play of Julius Caesar was Julius is shanked by Brutus, and in Mean Girls Cady uses jokes and pranks eliminate the powerful ones of school. Finally, Brutus joins the plot against Caesar, not because he is jealous but because he's been told that murdering Caesar would be in the best interest for Rome. Gretchen linked with Cady because jealousy and became fed up with Regina.

All in all, even though there are some differences between the two stories but there are also a lot of similarities. This proves that Mean Girls is a comparative story/film based off of the story of Julius Caesar. Many of the characters in Mean Girls compare to the characters in Julius Caesar. Finally, the message or theme of jealousy is obvious in the Mean Girls film. Because of the well known Julius Caesar, it is very clear that when jealousy was thrown into a movie, Tina Fey chooses to base the movie off of the famous Julius Caesar story.

Works Cited

Waters, Mark S, Lorne Michaels, Louise Rosner, Tina Fey, Daryn Okada, Rolfe Kent, Wendy G.

Bricmont, Cary White, Mary J. Fort, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Neil Flynn, Jonathan Bennett, Amanda Seyfried, and Rosalind Wiseman. ​Mean Girls​. , 2004.

Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. ​The Tragedy of Julius Caesar​. New York: Washington Square Press, 2005. Print.

 

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