Julius Caesar Essay

Just as Brutus puts it, power corrupts even the noblest. Power and the quest for it have been the nature of humankind, especially among ambitious individuals. While instances occur when the quest leads to the success of both the individual and the state, other instances, the result is marked by massive failure, characterized by either death of interested persons, fragmentation of the nation, or both. The latter case applies to Caesar and his close friends, as well as the territory of Rome.

Caesar creates a good rapport between him and the society, and his fame among the people increases considerably to an extent that the majority of the people start visioning him as being a king over them. However, Brutus, being aware of the fact that power corrupts, does not want Caesar to become king, as the position would give him absolute power, which would turn him from the generous popular individual to a tyrant. He, therefore, conspires to Kill Caesar claiming that it is through killing him that he could save his noble friend from becoming a tyrant (Julius Caesar, Act 2 Scene 1). While this may appear to be Brutus’ argument for killing Caesar, the major reason behind his action is that he wants to have the same power for himself, revealing that his personal quest for power has turned him into a bloodthirsty, irrational individual.

Brutus’ idea of killing Caesar as a means of protecting him from assuming power and thus transforming him into a tyrant is not well-advised. While it may initially appear to be appropriate in light of friendship, the consequences are far much worse in comparison to what the victim, Caesar, may have done had he lived to become king. In addition, the confusion that ensues after the death of Caesar portrays the negative side of Brutus’ decision. We also observe that the quest for power is what leads to the death of Brutus himself.

At the end of the play, the state of Rome remains in the hands of Antony, Lepidus and Octavius, tough marked by continued struggles as the latter tries to impose himself as being more superior. Given this struggle that follows the death of Caesar, and to the fact that Britain was under Roman leadership at the time, the reaction of Queen Elizabeth would probably that of remorse at the fall of the empire. Secondly, the ascension to power the three individuals turns the Roman regime to a tyrannical one, in which the rulers do everything within their powers to keep the leadership to them. Furthermore, we also observe that the quest for more power continues as Antony seeks to have complete control over Rome, and teams up with Egyptian ruler to dislodge Octavius from power. This quest fails and Octavius becomes the overall ruler of the empire following the death of Brutus and Cassius, and after defeating Antony and the Egyptian forces. We thus note that the idea for killing Caesar was to help the above-mentioned individuals become the rulers of the empire, and not for the good of Rome.

The quest for power as we have observed led to the death of Caesar. Power itself is also corrupting as we see Octavius imposing himself as being more powerful. We also note that the death of Caesar leads to an uprising that threatens to tear the empire apart, and sees the ascension to power of murderous individuals who inflict great pain and suffering to the lives of Roman citizens.

 

Works Cited
Shakespeare, W. Julius Caesar. Retrieved from http://shakespeare.mit.edu/julius_caesar/full.html

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