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Abuse of Power in Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was written in 1599 in England by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has born in 1564
and died in 1616. Nobody really knows when exactly he was born but for the records it is assumed that he
was born in April, creating an interesting coincidence with his death. He is the greatest writer of his
century and probably of the modern era. He influenced many contemporary writers and created a new
point of view in the poetry. He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. In his workJulius Caesar Shakespeare
shows us the change of power in Rome and the problems that Rome had there. Power is the ability to act
with force. Shakespeare makes visible the abuse of power and the struggle to gain power in the biggest
empire at the time. Shakespeare also shows that the power itself is more than a name or position. It is
something that the people exercise. There is not absolute power, every power has limitations. Besides the
servants every character in some way has his power. Although the biggest argument in Julius Caesar is
the change of power in the rulers of Rome, Shakespeare tries to show us many different kinds of power
and the use of it. As we can see during the play, people with power use power just for their convenience.

During the first part of the play, Shakespeare introduces the characters and the situations. He makes us
notice how powerful everyone is. Throughout the different meetings and the dialogues we can feel the
power of the personalities of some characters, which in the nearly future is going to make a difference.
The rulers of Rome have so much power that they can control the freedom of the people as we can see
when Caesar gave an order to Antony. "I shall remember. When Caesar says do this, it is performed"
(1.2.12-13). Although this abuse of power made the conspirators act against him, Caesar did not have
absolute power and in some situations Calpurnia, his wife, had control in him

"The cause is in my will. I will not come. / That is enough to satisfy the senate. / But for your private
satisfaction, / Because I love you, I will let you know. / Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home. / She
dreamt tonight she saw my statue, / Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts, / Did run pure blood;
and many lusty Romans / Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it. / And these does she apply for
warning and portents / And evils imminent, and on her knee /

Hath begged that I will stay at home today" (2.2. 76-87). In the Roman times the women did not have the
complete freedom and they were consider like a second class person. In the situation that Caesar was
performing the point of a woman, was view bad, even more in the case of the ruler of Rome. Shakespeare
make visible that the conspirators had power before the ides of March, maybe not as much as Caesar. In
a dialogue between Cassius and Brutus show us that Brutus is powerful enough and is more apt to be the

ruler of Rome than Caesar ."..there was a Brutus once that would have brooked / Th' eternal devil to keep
his state in Rome / as easily as a king" (1.2. 168-170). Although Cassius was talking about one ancestor
of Brutus, he made Brutus think of the change of power in Rome and in a dark way about the conspiracy.
If Caesar would not abuse of his power, the conspirators would not planned the conspiracy and to try
change the power of Caesar for Brutus's power.

The act 3 became the most important act of all the play, for Caesar's death and also for some interesting
passages of power. During the Cesar's funeral, Brutus shows us his power in his speech and in the
response of the people "Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak, for him have I
offended. I pause for a reply. Plebeians none, Brutus, none" (3.2. 34-37) Brutus justified the conspiracy
and make that the people of Rome agree with him. After Antony's speech the plebeians realize "there's
not a nobler man in Rome than Antony" (3.2. 128) and the power that Brutus had already gained was
Antony's. After that speech we can notice of two interesting things that probably could change the
direction of the play. The first one is if Brutus would not let Antony have a speech, in that point Brutus had
enough power to decide that. The second one is if Brutus would make his speech more emotional and
show that he was nobler than Antony. Although let Antony have a speech was for showing respect for the
friend, the results were so much different.

In the act 4 we can see that the main decisions are being taken for the future of Rome. Antony, Octavius
and Lipidus became the rulers of Rome. They have so much power that they can decide the life of the
people. They are doing everything for keep their power, even killing members of the family if it is
necessary. Octavius asked Lipidus if it's fine killing his brother for the future of Rome. "Your brother too
must die. Consent you, Lipidus? Lipidus I do consent" (4.1. 3-4). The power corrupts the people who get
it. The Ides of March for Brutus and the conspirators was a movement for freedom. The conspiracy
against Caesar was for the good of Rome and not for the good of the new rulers itself. Although Brutus
and Cassius got more power after the ides of March, they were not the rulers of Rome. The ambition and
the necessity to gain more power make them forget the objective of the ides of March. In a discussion
between Brutus and Cassius, Brutus tells Cassius what was happening and remember him the objective,
reminding him the ides of March "Let me tell you, Cassius, yourself are much condemned to have an
itching palm, to sell and mart your offices for gold to under servers" (4.3. 9-12). In the two last acts is
where all the change of power itself changes in the struggle between Brutus' and Antony's forces.

Although Mark Antony was the most important leader after the Caesar's death, Octavius got the power of
Rome after Brutus and Cassius died. Octavius was the new emperor for being Julius Caesar's great
nephew. A few years after Octavius was in power, his friend Mark Antony became his rival of power.
Antony combined forces with Cleopatra, the Egyptian ruler, against Octavius. Octavius won that war

against Egypt. The senate gave Octavius the name of Augustus. Augustus was a wanted emperor for the
Romans. Although he was the most powerful person in Rome, he worked for Rome and made the Roman
Empire stronger but he had as well as powerful leader made huge mistakes. He got married thrice for
political convenience. Shakespeare lived in the renascence when the history, the arts and the science of
the ancient cultures stopped to be forgotten. Four centuries the people read Shakespeare and became a
symbol of the mankind with his literature. The problems of the power as Shakespeare shows us have had
place since the firsts cultures appeared. The leaders and the powerful people always were corrupted for
the power, and they used the power for their convenience.