Julius Caesar: The Corruption Of Power Essay

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Brutus, Cassius, Caesar, and the other Senators held the power to do things others could not. With this authority came their ability to use poor judgement. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Julius Caesar the theme Power Corrupts is arrayed thoroughly. Murder, treason, and ethical/moral corruption were three prevalent themes that proved the overall topic of Power Corrupts.

In Julius Caesar corruption led to dangerous outcomes, such as death. "Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!" (Shakespeare 3.1.77). The last words of noble Caesar could be heard, as Brutus, the last of the conspirators, took a plunge at Caesar with his knife. Caesar laying there on the senate floor, illustrated the murderous intentions of the senators.
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Power was abused, murder was committed, and corruption had taken place.

There were many forms of corruption caused by power in this play, one of which was treason. If even a single whisper of assassinating someone with a high rank was heard, you were thrown in jail. An example of this would be when Cassius and the other conspirators discussed their plan to kill Caesar and Mark Antony:
Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all; which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together. (Shakespeare 2.1.155-161)

In this situation Cassius had a conversation about killing Mark Antony as well as Caesar. This was a form of Treason. Cassius would never have said such things if he did not have the power to. Being a senator he felt he had the right to decide what was good for Rome. He not only said this for Rome, but for himself as well. If Caesar had become King, he would have been able to get ride of Cassius. This thought did not please Cassius. "Casca, you are the first to that rears your hand" (Shakespeare 3.1.30). This was another point in the story where treason was committed. It took place in the Senate House, as Caesar approached. Cassius and the other senators discussed how Casca would attack Caesar first.
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