Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Analyze the theme of power in Julius Caesar. 

In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare treats the theme of power with great complexity. He examines the desire to acquire power, but he also examines the vulnerability and political instability which can accompany its pursuit. This complexity is powerfully illustrated in the example of Caesar, the most powerful political force in Rome, facing his conspirators. This pattern repeats in the fates of Cassius and Brutus who, after killing Caesar, are later destroyed by the enemies they made in the process.

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Power is one of the critical themes of Julius Caesar, and this is reflected in the rise and fall of its various characters. This play is about the acquisition of power (as well as of the manipulations that relate to the acquisition of power), but also, at the same time, it examines the vulnerability that coincides with power, as well as the political instability which can ensue. With Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare examines issues of power and the pursuit of power with tremendous complexity.

As the play opens, we find Julius Caesar at the height of his political ascendancy, as the dominant political figure in Rome. Indeed, Shakespeare depicts Caesar as driven by the desire for power and reputation (note how the conspirators draw Caesar into their plot by appealing to his pride and vanity, as well as by promising him a crown). But one of the critical themes of Julius Caesar is how power brings with it vulnerability, a theme strikingly illustrated with Caesar himself, faced with the...

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