Julius Caesar: Power Essay, Research Paper
In William Shakespeare s, play Julius Caesar a group of men come together to assassinate the man they feel will destroy the Roman Empire if he comes to Power. In their eyes he is not worthy of a stately position such as emperor. They also fear that they will loose their free will, and live under tyranny. Marcus Brutus, a close friend to Caesar, chooses to kill Caesar to try to prevent that future from falling upon the Roman Empire. Although he is a friend to Caesar he knows that power would easily corrupt him. Power and corruption seemed to go hand in hand in the play Julius Caesar.
While Brutus was making what might have been the toughest decision he d make in his life, whether or not he would join Cassius and kill his friend Caesar, he made a compelling statement about Caesar s nature. That lowliness is young ambition s ladder, Whereto the climber upward turns his face; But when he once attains the upmost round. He then unto the ladder turns his back; Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees: By which he did ascend. So Caesar may. (II, 1, 22-27) He means that if Caesar climbs the ladder to power he will forget the little people the base degrees , and rule as if the people were small and petty, taking advantage of them like a tyrant. Brutus then compares Caesar to a poisonous snake, that must be destroyed before birth. He sees that power would indeed corrupt Caesar and decides to kill him along with Cassius and the conspirators.
In Act III, Julius Caesar shows that the reader that he does have tyrannical traits. Caesar decides to go to the capitol and meet with the senate after Desius convinces
him that the senate is considering awarding him the crown. Which is not true, it is merely a trap that will lead him to his death. While there Metellus Cimber, who s brother has been banished, pleads with Caesar and asks him to consider revoking his brother s sentence. Caesar refuses to do this saying, I am constant as the Northern Star. (III, 1,60) He goes on to say The skies are painted with unnumb red sparks, They are all fire and everyone doth shine: But there s but on in all doth hold his place. (III, 1,63-65) He means that he cannot be swayed to think otherwise and, that he is higher than other men that would. This shows the Caesar believes he is better than other men, a quality that a ruler of an empire should lack. He is abusing his power. He appears to be almost conceded. He also shows that he is not compassionate, he is acting like a dictator.
After this Caesar s display of arrogance, he is murdered by the conspirators. They each stab him and Brutus is the last. The conspirators have completed their task and they cry out in the streets. Cinna says, Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence. Proclaim, cry it about in the streets. (III, 1, 78-79) Caesar was dead and they were proud of it. Would this have taken place if the conspirators were not of high rank, such as senators? Probably not. The less powerful Romans did not have the power, and could not even bare to think of murdering someone as noble as Caesar. Cassius and the other Senators had the power to, and did commit murder.
In conclusion, power is often misused and can corrupt the minds of those who hold it. For Caesar and the conspirators, this is true. A modern example of power leading to corruption is an incident known as the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Our late president Bill Clinton s power was probably a factor in the immoral relationship he had with an intern. Whether it be one time or many, those who have power seldom use it without abusing it.