What point does Shakespeare make about the effect of political power on those who hold it?   I asked this question, but the answer was off the topic a bit. I would like it answered again.  

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Shakespeare's Julius Caesar deals with the events surround the title character's assassination on March 15, 44 BCE.

I believe that one of Shakespeare's main points about the effects of political power on those who hold it is that the leader needs to be aware that the mere name of "leader" causes people to assume certain things about the person.

In the case of Caesar, the assumption is that Caesar was an ambitious person. Even though Caesar thrice refused the crown that Antony offered him, certain members of the Roman nobility (e.g., Casca and Cassius) believe that Caesar wanted to take it.

After Caesar's assassination, the speeches given by Brutus and Antony deal with the issue of ambition. Antony's speech and subsequent reading of Caesar's will make a strong case that Caesar was not someone who had no regard for the people of Rome.

The scene that ends Act III also seems intended to show that the application of a name or label to someone conjures up certain beliefs about that person. Consider how the angry mob attacks the poet Cinna just because he has the same name as one of the conspirators.

It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his

name out of his heart, and turn him going.


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