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The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar, By William Shakespeare

1641 words - 7 pages

In today’s society, people’s wills are corrupt by the power and politics of the government. This is also evident in William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Shakespeare was born in 1564, about one hundred miles from London, in a market town called Stratford-Upon-Avon. By 1585, Shakespeare had begun his career as an actor and playwright, in London. Shakespeare joined a play company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, in 1594. Because Shakespeare had a share in the theater company and the theaters where they preformed, he became a wealthy man and bought a house in Stratford for his family. However, he lived in London for most of the year due to his job. Shakespeare’s acting company had built the globe, an open-air playhouse, in 1599. The Globe held 3,000 people in its circular space. The costumes used in plays at the globe were very realistic, which helped make up for the loss of scenery. Women were not allowed to perform, so the boys used their high voices, and girl-like costumes to create an illusion that women were performing. Shakespeare’s play is based on the transition of the Roman Empire during the time of Julius Caesar. Shakespeare opens his play in 44 BC, a time in Roman society when it looked as though, if Caesar took over, the republic could fall. Caesar took over after the wealthy politician, Crassius, died in 53 BC. Caesar also had to defeat Pompey, another Roman military general, in Egypt. At this point, Caesar was crowned dictator for life, which is where the play starts. In the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by Shakespeare, the wills of characters clash between power and politics due to surprises, will instead of reason, and spirit.
To begin, Shakespeare uses surprises to demonstrate the clashing of wills due to power and politics. For instance, the way politics suggest that the characters work too hard for nothing. According to E.A.J. Honigmann, a former professor of English literature at Britain’s University of Birmingham, “A glimpse of the man… subtly degrades him” (122). This man happens to be Cicero, a senator. Later, Honigmann goes on to say it is, “strange, too, that in a play containing such memorable orations, Cicero is given nothing memorable to say” (122). Not only the fact that Cicero is given horrid looks, but also the fact that he does not say anything memorable, at any time, is astonishing. These facts are surprising because all of the other characters are proven to have something important to say. An equally important surprise is Caesar’s image and how he presents himself. While in the forum, Caesar is warned, “Beware the ides of March” (Shakespeare 1.2.28). In response to the Soothsayer, Caesar states, “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him” (Shakespeare 1.2.29). It is shocking that Caesar decides to ignore a citizen when one warns him of his fate. Typically, when one receives the chance to hold an office position, they will listen to what their people say, and do what they feel is...

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