How Tyranny Advances The Theme Of Greed In Julius Caesar Thesis Sample

Type of paper: Thesis

Topic: Caesar, Julius Caesar, Rome, Power, People, Government, Shakespeare, Human

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/12

Julius Caesar is one of the most famous literary works by the stalwart literary artist, William Shakespeare. The play delves deep into the minds and actions of the characters portrayed. The portraiture stirs the mind of the avid readers and audience from all over the globe. The quintessential aesthetic representation of the characters explores the psyche of human nature, and how emotions and ambitions transform over the course of time in one’s life. Thus, more than just being a theatrical representation of the historic events, the play in context embarks upon the path of exploring the subtleties of human nature that make or break a man. Julius Caesar, the protagonist of the play, is essentially flawed with all the human attributes, in spite of being a man of omnipotent power.
Julius Caesar always had the dream of being acknowledged as an omnipotent power throughout the vast territories of human civilization. He is shown as a man who is highly ambitious in nature, and values his ambition more than human emotions. Driven by his aim to be the center of power in the land he goes on to marry the daughter of Pompey, who was then the ruler of Rome. However, he never considers that the ruler of Rome is his father-in-law, and he goes to kill Pompey to ascend the throne of Rome. It is only the immense greed for power in his mind that leads him to do away with his human emotions to achieve the coveted throne of Rome.
The people of Rome who were given great benefits by the previous ruler of the land, Pompey, obviously draw a comparison between the past ruler and Julius Caesar. However, in stark contrast to Pompey, Julius Caesar is taken to be more self-centered. Caesar is someone who likes to control the people around who are involved in administration. Although people seem to be skeptical in the beginning about his will to do good for the people, with time the perception of people regarding Julius Caesar transforms for the worse.
While Caesar aims at attaining absolute authority over the people of the state, he gradually turns into a tyrant. His thirst for power never gets satiated, and it is his overambitious nature to attain supremacy over others that makes him cross the fine line that distinguishes tyranny from the proper exercise of power in the kingdom. Caesar is evidently arrogant in his approach as an authoritative person. However, the famous playwright never goes on to establish how much Caesar had become a tyrant in the eyes of many in Rome.
However, it is Julius Caesar’s hunger for immense authority and absolute power that makes people perceive him as a serious threat to the values and ideal of the Roman Republic. Although Caesar works on enhancing his authority in the state of Rome, people start going against him. “Marcus Brutus, Casca, Cassius, and five others fear that Caesar is acquiring too much power which will result in reduced governmental influence for them.” (Wright) They resort to hatching conspiracy against him, so that he does not come to know about any force that is working against him in Rome.
The conspirators believe that Caesar would soon be crowned the king of Rome. Thus, they believe that Rome would lose its republic status, while the people would lose their liberty. They take Caesar to be a person who seeks absolute authority over the state machinery, and can only become a tyrant in his pursuit of absolute power. “Undoubtedly the attractiveness of the play is also a result of the importance of the historical figure and the historic dimension of the assassination.” (Zander)
One might argue that Caesar had already started showing signs of being a tyrannical person before his ascension of the throne of Rome. The audience or the readers come to know from the words of Casca that both Murellus and Flavius are put to silence as they dared to cover up the pictures of Julius Caesar at the time of the Feast of Lupercal. Casca is found to tell in the course of the play, “Murellus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs / off Caesar's images, are put to silence.” (Shakespeare Act 1) Thus, the readers or audience are only left wondering if the two people were assassinated at the instructions of Caesar. It is most likely so as Caesar is shown as a man who intends to have absolute power in his hands.
Brutus does not think twice to compare his friend, Caesar, with a serpent’s egg. He believes that Caesar needs to be killed before he can become jeopardy for the people and the kingdom of Rome. Thus, it can be comprehended that Julius Caesar started getting seen as a potential threat to the kingdom of Rome. Human liberty is of far more importance to Brutus than the worth of his friendship with Julius Caesar. Brutus goes on to say in the course of the play,

“He would be crown'd:

How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;

And therefore think him as a serpent's egg

Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.” (Shakespeare Act 2)
Thus, the play goes on to show how the hunger for power can drag a person down to ashes. Caesar met his inevitable end, and antagonized even his friend in his ambitious pursuit of having absolute authority. He is so ambitious that he undermines the nightmares of his wife, and does not even pay any heed to the ominous things that occur in the course of the play. He is blinded by the enormous power of the throne of Rome.
The play shows how being tyrannical one can never achieve success. A man has to keep his hunger for omnipotence in check, so that he does not come across as a tyrannical force in the domain of existence. The insatiable hunger of absolute authority that brought the untimely downfall and decadence of Julius Caesar is a huge flaw of any human nature.
The most known instance of betrayal in the Shakespearean play is when Brutus, one of the best friends of Julius Caesar, stabs Caesar in his back to kill him. When Caesar sees his friend he breaks from inside, and finally accepts his demise. When Anthony arrives at the place where Brutus has killed Caesar, he endeavors to make Anthony understand how tyrannical Caesar was as a man. He opines that the act of killing was intended for the good of the people of Rome.
Thus, the theme of tyranny looms over the course of the play. This undertone of tyranny expressed through the character of Caesar is only a transformation of Caesar’s greed for more power being attributed to him. “The first thing the conspirators do after killing Caesar is rush into the streets to proclaim to the populace that “Tyranny is dead!”” (Bloom) Thus, the theme of tyranny takes over the events of the play, and reverberates in the minds of the characters as well as the audience.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010.
“Julius Caesar.” Cliffnotes. n.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.
“Julius Caesar.” n.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012. Print.
Wright, Courtni Crump. The Women of Shakespeare's Plays. Maryland: University Press of
America, 1993. Print.
Zander, Horst, ed. Julius Caesar: New Critical Essays. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 12) How Tyranny Advances The Theme Of Greed In Julius Caesar Thesis Sample. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from
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"How Tyranny Advances The Theme Of Greed In Julius Caesar Thesis Sample," Free Essay Examples -, 12-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 24-May-2024].
How Tyranny Advances The Theme Of Greed In Julius Caesar Thesis Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 12, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2024.

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