Madness and Ambition in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

900 Words4 Pages
“Even the noblest men can be seduced by power; it has the power to kill, to distort, and to corrupt” Through this passage, Matthew Sims captures in essence how individuals often turn to betrayal and deception in order to gain their heart’s desires. This characteristic is not only present in life, but can also be seen in modern and classical literature, including the well known work of Julius Caesar. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the lust for power transcends any one individual and ultimately leads to death and corruption of not only Caesar, but also of Brutus and Cassius. The play begins with Caesar parading through the streets of Rome as he triumphs in his victory over Pompey. However, Brutus, Cassius, and many others hatch a plot to assassinate Caesar in order to save the Roman Republic from a dictatorship (Shakespeare). The conspirators lure Caesar to the Senate, where they carry out their ominous plans. As a result, many of Caesar’s supporters, such as Mark Antony, seize power drive the conspirators from the city. As the months pass, both the conspirators and Caesar’s supporters raise armies and eventually wage battle in the Italian plains (Shakespeare). As the battle comes to a close, it becomes clear that the corrupt and appalling actions that had previously taken place had been rectified when supporters will triumph and many conspirators take their own lives as their army crumbles. Speaking of corruption, by the time of the play’s start the Republic is rank with fraud and manipulation. The reader is introduced not to a democracy, but to a tyrannical government controlled by an ever exploitive Caesar. Caesar’s overwhelming obsession with power tempted him to abuse his position of power, a temptation that was too much f... ... middle of paper ... ...th guilt, greed, and remorse (Henze). It is clear that the longing for power was the source of the sequence of events that lead to the death of Brutus. Works Cited Brooke, Stopford A. "Julius Caesar." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 13 Nov. 2013 "First Triumvirate, Wars of the (Great Roman Civil War)." First Triumvirate, Wars of the (Great Roman Civil War). Ohio State University, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. Henze, Richard. "Power and Spirit in Julius Caesar." EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. Levin, Richard A. "Brutus: `Noblest Roman of Them All'." EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. Sims, Matthew. "The Political Odyssey: Shakespeare's Exploration of Ethics in Julius Caesar." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 13 Nov. 2013
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