What are the major themes in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar?
Power is a central theme of the play, which revolves from start to end around the question of who gets to rule Rome. Cassius and other senators fear that Julius Caesar, once their peer, is about to use his popularity to seize power from them and force them to bow down to him. This leads to the conspiracy in which the senators literally overpower Caesar in a surprise attack in which they stab him to death. After his death, this struggle for power erupts into an ugly civil war that pits Brutus against Antony. Antony is able to win because of his willingness to be ruthless while Brutus's judicious and fair-minded use of power is his undoing. Who gets power and how it should be used are recurrent questions in the play.
Another central theme is loyalty. Brutus makes the decision to participate in the assassination of Caesar to save Rome, but this is not without its price, for Caesar is one of Brutus's closest friends. This becomes painfully apparent when, after Brutus stabs him, the dying...
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