, Research Paper
In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Caesar was elected ruler for fear of instability and killed for fear of tyranny. The citizens of Rome are timorous about having an unstable government because they don’t want war and fighting within their country. But a fully stable government can and must be run by only one person, because no matter how well two people get along, they will always have disagreements. Therefore, if tyranny is reached, one person has all the power and cannot be controlled. This also perturbs the community because they want say in their rules and laws. There is no way to fully satisfy a country with a perfect government because none has or currently existed. Nor are there any plans whatsoever to create one. Ergo, the instability caused by an unstable government acts as a nascent to a tyrannical government.
All the while Caesar refused the crown, the citizens rose more and more for him to accept it. Then, after Brutus had explained why he had murdered Caesar, the plebeians shouted: “Bring him with triumph home unto his house. / Give him a statue with his ancestors” (3.2.46-47). The plebeians happily accepted his logic and rationalizing. And finally, when Antony presented his dead friend to the public and implored them to understand why Caesar was in fact not ambitious; the commons once again jumped through the hoop and agreed whole-heartedly by crying: “Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! / Let not a traitor live!” (3.2.201-202). The public wanted a strong confident leader. And they would gladly accept it in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
Caesar’s government allowed the people what they wanted, all people including commoners and nobles, and it satisfied the political aspects to a government. It distributed the right amount of power to the senators to make them think they were always in control, yet Caesar never gave them full control. His system kept the people at ease and safe, and it created peace and civility throughout Rome, if only for a modest duration of time. Caesar’s system of Republicanism provided the pillar of strength for the commoners to lean upon and a mock obstacle for the nobles. Caesar was smart about keeping his power while pretending to be acting solely on the decisions of the group. He filtered his power through numerous sources so it could not be traced back to him. It was almost like a modern day money laundering scheme where you transfer the money to so many people for so many reasons that it just gets lost in life, but it is all there on paper. Caesar was a confident and strong leader and for this, people loved him. But also as a result of this, people envied him and hated him.
Caesar was far from tyrannical or ambitious as Brutus and Cassius put it. Antony says of Caesar: “You all did see that on the Lupercal/ I thrice presented him a kingly crown, / Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” (3.2.93-95). Now, it may be argued that Caesar did this to provoke support on his part, but Caesar understood that accepting the crown would raise more criticism than support. Therefore, he backed away from being king in order to show Rome that he was doing all this work for the good of Rome and not for the good of himself. Far is it for me to say that Caesar was a completely honest and noble person. He was a politician after all, but his intentions were good and he knew that to win the crown, he had to win the people, and he had to conquer not just the warring countries, but the art of ruling. Caesar’s actions calmed people and reassured then into believing in him.
Caesar’s methods of ruling were far from perfect, yet shed under the right amount of light, it was probably one of the greatest forms of ruling there have ever been. In fact, Caesar’s government is a slightly primitive form of our so-called democracy. He had a republican administration, whereas our actual body is rather republican, but our manner of election is a democracy. In Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius strive to reform the republic, but in the process they create civil unrest and war within Rome, defeating the purpose of their mission. They felt that they were saving Rome from tyranny, but in the very end, tyranny is stronger than ever. Caesar’s system was hanging in the balance between instability and tyranny, but the conspirators came in and upset everything. They created everything but a solid ruling form. The final fate of the government proves that an unstable government is a leading cause to possible tyranny.