Julius Caesar : Political Propaganda

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Caleb Holman Miss Tanner British Literature 1 21 November 2014 Julius Caesar Used as Political Propaganda William Shakespeare was born in 1564, only a little while after the start of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. As such he lived in a time of civil unrest later in his life because of the ruler being a woman, being childless and not naming an heir to the throne. Therefore Shakespeare used his tragedy Julius Caesar and the Roman politics in the play in order to reflect those of his day. Namely that even the government needs the support of its people, that advice given to political leaders should be taken into consideration, the consequences of rebellion, and the need for an heir. William Shakespeare first looks to show what may happen if the Queen should die without naming an heir to the throne. “Conceivably, England would revert, upon her death, to the kind of civil chaos through which it had suffered in the fiftieth century” (Maus 1550). Recognizing this Shakespeare uses his plays, particularly Julius Caesar, as a way to explore the possible outcomes of her death. Yet censorship in renaissance England made direct commentary on the political situation very difficult (Greenblatt 1550). Thus Shakespeare used Julius Caesar in order to provide that commentary. It is clear in his play Julius Caesar that Shakespeare believes that a republic is an idealistic, yet very hard to sustain, form of government. Hadfield comments on this saying “the republic was always an ideal that was in
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