What meat is doth?

Answered by Cody Janus

The phrase “What meat is doth?” is actually a line from William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar.” It is spoken by Cassius in Act 1, Scene 2, as he questions the reasons behind Caesar’s rise to power and popularity. In this context, Cassius is expressing his disbelief and curiosity about how Caesar has become so influential and revered in Rome.

To understand the meaning behind the phrase, it is important to delve into the metaphorical language used by Cassius. In this case, “meat” is being used metaphorically to represent the sustenance or nourishment that Caesar feeds upon in order to grow great. It suggests that there is something or someone that has been instrumental in Caesar’s rise to power, providing him with the necessary support and resources.

However, it is important to note that the phrase itself is intentionally ambiguous and open to interpretation. Shakespeare often used language in a way that allowed for multiple meanings and layers of understanding. In this case, Cassius may be referring to the literal food that Caesar consumes, symbolizing the material benefits and privileges he has enjoyed. Alternatively, “meat” could also represent the figurative nourishment in the form of political alliances, manipulation, or charisma that has propelled Caesar’s ascent.

Cassius’s statement also raises the question of whether Caesar truly deserves his position of power and greatness. By questioning the source of Caesar’s growth, Cassius implies that Rome has lost its noble bloodlines and that Caesar’s rise is somehow unnatural or undeserved. This sentiment reflects Cassius’s own ambition and desire for power, as he sees Caesar as a threat to the traditional aristocratic order.

In a broader sense, Cassius’s words can be seen as a critique of the fickleness of the masses and the dangers of unchecked ambition. He suggests that Caesar’s popularity and influence are not based on merit or true leadership qualities, but rather on manipulation and the shallow desires of the people. This theme of ambition and the corrupting nature of power is central to the play and resonates throughout Shakespeare’s works.

The phrase “What meat is doth?” is a metaphorical expression used by Cassius in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” to question the reasons behind Caesar’s greatness and rise to power. It symbolizes the sustenance or nourishment that Caesar has consumed to grow in influence and popularity. The ambiguity of the phrase allows for multiple interpretations and reflects the themes of ambition, manipulation, and the fickleness of power that are explored in the play.