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Julius Caesar Essay: Loyalty and Chaos

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Julius Caesar: Loyalty and Chaos



In the play, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare suggests that a society without loyalty will inevitably find itself in chaos. Loyalty and similar traits of love and faithfulness arguably form the framework of societies present and past. Negative forces such as ego, greed and the quest for power continually attack this framework. Julius Caesar illustrates the rapid decay of a Roman society's law and harmony, until it finds itself in the chaos of civil war before concluding in an uneasy order. The absence of loyalty in a society does not necessarily constitute chaos; it is rather variants like extremism and
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Antony himself predicts that "Domestic fury and fierce civil strife shall cumber all the parts of Italy". Later, in his funeral oration, he refers to the unravelling of their society, saying "Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us". His fiery speech fuels the general mayhem of the mob which start running wild- "Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!". Their loyalties have swung from Caesar, to Brutus and finally back to "Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death". They are on a rampage of destruction- "With the brands fire the traitors' house"... "Pluck down forms, windows, anything". We see uncontrolled lawlessness when the mob randomly and senselessly kill Cinna the poet- "I am not Cinna the conspirator." "It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going." This supports the idea that violence is probable when there is political disturbance and instability.

The society portrayed in Julius Caesar is for the most part chaotic, but it is debatable whether it is so for the lack of loyalty. There are strong examples of loyalty within other relationships in the play. Brutus' loyalty to the political state and his ideals brought about his downfall: he was "a man who
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