Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince And Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

1045 words - 4 pages

The Bible teaches love, compassion and generosity. Niccolo Machiavelli found the Bible’s lessons idealistic and unrealistic for leaders. Machiavelli wrote his book, The Prince, to show the ruling Meddici family that the world is not a fairy tale. Prior to Machiavelli writing The Prince, the majority of books depicted people as virtuous and ethical. However, The Prince is not the only work of literature that manifests Machiavellian techniques. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar utilizes similar methods. As shown in Julius Caesar and The Prince, a leader who follows Machiavelli’s advice will accomplish their goals; if the leader does not adhere to Machiavelli’s recommendations, then the leader will not fulfill his aspiration.
A character from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Cassius, exhibits Machiavellian attributes by manipulation and a drive to accomplish his goal of assassinating Julius Caesar by any means. Cassius was able to successfully manipulate both Brutus and the fellow conspirators. Cassius was able to influence Brutus enough to make Brutus believe that killing Julius Caesar, Brutus’ best friend, was the right action. Initially, Brutus was wary of Cassius when Brutus said, “Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius?” (1.2.69) Subsequently, Brutus is persuaded as he states, “...what you have said / I will consider” (1.2.176-177). Cassius is willing to control any person who stands in his way. Cassius successfully turned Brutus against his best friend in order to achieve what Cassius believes to be best for Rome. When Brutus says, “Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires” (1.2.35) it is clear that Cassius has swayed Brutus to believe in his cause. In Julius Caesar, we do not see Cassius as the main leader of the conspiracy to kill Caesar; rather Brutus is the main leader. But with this quote, Brutus is merely the face for the real leader of the conspiracy, who is Cassius. In Julius Caesar, Cassius achieved his goal of executing Caesar by applying Machiavellian approaches. Machiavelli wrote, “One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars and deceivers” (Prince 3). The description Machiavelli gives of men is equivalent to Cassius’ actions.
Antony, another Julius Caesar character, employs three Machiavellian skills: using fickleness to his advantage,“...while you treat them well, they are yours” (Prince 3), and ruling by fear. Antony’s objective was revenge toward the conspirators for killing Caesar. Antony also successfully used the fickleness of the Roman people to his advantage. After Brutus explained why the conspirators had killed Caesar, the crowd was understanding and agreed with the conspirator’s actions. The Roman peasants are convinced; they even want Brutus as their new emperor, with better qualities than Caesar. The plebians say, “Caesar’s better parts / Shall be crowned in Brutus” (3.2.54-55). But the level of the masses’ support for Brutus did not deter Antony’s opinion of the wrongdoing...

Find Another Essay On Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

The Success of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

915 words - 4 pages “I came, I saw, I conquered.” (Julius Caesar, Much like these famous words spoken by Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, came, saw, and conquered the minds of many. Around 1599, when Julius Caesar was written, a legendary play was born. Julius Caesar is the shortest play written by Shakespeare, was first performed on September 11, 1599, in the Globe Theater. This theater was shaped like a polygon and open in the

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Vs. Plutarch’s Julius Caesar

1561 words - 6 pages "He doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus"(Julius Caesar 1.2.142-43).These words were spoken by Cassius, a character in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.He is speaking about Julius Caesar and Caesar's arrogance and overconfidence. This quote also shows how Shakespeare perceived Julius Caesar as a prominent and influential man of his time. However, this view is not shared by all of the biographers that chose to write about Julius Caesar

Qualities of a Good Ruler- Based on Niccolo Machiavelli's - "The Prince."

1038 words - 4 pages In history, the main reason why a nation prospers is because of its leader. The best written piece I have come across on this topic is Niccolo Machiavelli's book, "The Prince". A leader should be intelligent, strong, caring and devoted to his subjects. Although people have different opinions in the qualities of a good ruler, all believe that a leader should help his nation grow and thrive.In his book, "The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli states his

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince: A Guide to Being an Effective Ruler

1341 words - 5 pages “The Prince”, by Niccolo Machiavelli, is a series of letters written to the current ruler of Italy, Lorenzo de’ Medici. These letters are a “how-to” guide on what to do and what not to do. He uses examples to further express his views on the subject. The main purpose was to inform the reader how to effectively rule and be an acceptable Prince. Any ruler who wishes to keep absolute control of his principality must use not only wisdom and

Betrayal in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar

1874 words - 8 pages "Et tu – Brute?" “Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard,Some do it with a bitter look,Some with a flattering word,The coward does it with a kiss,The brave man with a sword,” by Oscar Wilde. In the tragedies of Shakespeare we encounter betrayal upon his plays and how it leads to catastrophic consequences. In this case Macbeth, hamlet and Julius Caesar are no exceptions. In the Shakespearean tragedies Macbeth Hamlet, and

The Nature of Man Explored in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

1862 words - 7 pages Much speculation has arisen over why Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar. Some say he was he was predicting what would happen should civil war break out in England. Shakespeare lived from 1564 to 1616 in the Elizabethan era. Julius Caesar was written in 1599, near the end of the Queen’s reign. Elizabeth was growing old and still had no heir; the future ruler of England lay in question. Undoubtedly, multiple candidates would strive for the throne

Character Motives in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

1484 words - 6 pages Motivation can cause people to work hard and win a state championship, but it can also cause people to kill. Motivation can be defined as an internal state of a person that drives them to action for the purpose of reaching a target goal. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a tragic drama that shows a huge variety of the different motives that fuel each character. Readers see what motivates each character, and how far that motivation takes

The Assassination of Juilius Caesar . In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

1318 words - 6 pages Human nature causes people to behave in unusual ways, such as the envy of another’s power may result in bloodshed. The ancient Romans had three men, called a triumvirate, to rule the people. In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar the triumvirate during the time period consisted of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Crassus; however, after the deaths of Pompey and Crassus, Julius Caesar became the sole ruler of Rome. Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars, and Paulo Coelho’s, Veronika Decides to Die

1637 words - 7 pages “Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.” Are undoubtedly the infamous last words from Julius Caesar in the Shakespearean tragedy titled, Julius Caesar, where upon betrayal from long time friend, Brutus, Caesar submissively accepts his fate and finds that with death approaching he can only be at peace, therefore resigning himself. Conversely in John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars, and Paulo Coelho’s, Veronika Decides to Die, the individuals share

The Implications of Sickness in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

1140 words - 5 pages , authors use illness in their works to demonstrate different aspects of the plot such as showing a character’s emotions or reflecting on the themes of the text. During many scenes in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, he uses sickness to portray a number of things in a character, including weaknesses, worries, doubts, beliefs and emotions at the time of the respective scene; whether it’s Caesar’s epilepsy, Brutus claiming he’s sick to

Julius Caesar As A Real Person Verses Julius Caesar In Shakespeare’s Play

1793 words - 7 pages let one travel back in time? The answer still stands, but Shakespeare in his play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar had been able to do it, or at least made an attempt. With this play he had been able to carry people back and forth in time. In the next few minutes one will experience, relive, and compare the Julius Caesar in Shakespeare's play with the true Julius Caesar. The interpretation of the facts must be left to each person seeking the true

Similar Essays

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

1043 words - 4 pages Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince examines the nature of power and his views of power are still somewhat in existence today. I'll discuss this in this essay, emphasizing the following theses. Machiavelli discusses power over the people, dictatorial power, and power with people, shared power. While it is possible for power with to attain greater prevalence in society, it will not completely eliminate power

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

1189 words - 5 pages More than 480 years ago, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince was published. It established a system of governance influential still today. His ideas were available before thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke. Men who believed that government derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. Machiavelli, unlike Rousseau and Locke, did not suggest government of the people, but government were power was centralized and secure in the hands of

Comparing Leadership In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar And Machiavelli’s The Prince

1467 words - 6 pages the “right” decisions for the community, taking the blame, and being selfless. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Machiavelli’s The Prince, there are various examples as to what is the difference between a good and a bad leader, including initiative, accountability, generosity, and the leader’s values. A leader must learn to take the initiatives for many of his projects. In Julius Caesar, Cassius tries to convince Brutus of joining the

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Essay

702 words - 3 pages Caesar is a famous play that he wrote which pretty much teaches people not to trust anybody. It starts out with Julius Caesar coming to Rome in a parade to celebrate his victory in battle. On his way to the podium, he was stopped by a soothsayer who was blind. The soothsayer was telling him to “beware the Ides of March.” Caesar ignored it and went to the podium where he was offered the crown of Rome but he declined it. Brutus, who was a longtime