Plutarch's The Life of Crassus and Caesar Essay

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Plutarch's The Life of Crassus and Caesar

Plutarch presented history through biographical stories of the people that were important and influential during the time period he wished to address. However, after having read some of his work, one realizes that Plutarch inserts his own personal opinion and views of the people at hand into the factual documentation of their lives. For example, in The Life of Crassus, Plutarch expresses a general dislike and negative view of the man, but in The Life of Caesar he portrays the life through a lens of praise. It also seems that he uses his opinions of the people that he writes about to subtly extend moral lessons to the reader. What follows is a further isolation of Plutarch's opinions and
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…. He became one of the best speakers in Rome, and by care and application, was able to surpass those who were more highly gifted by nature. …. often when Pompey and Cicero and Caesar were reluctant to speak, he undertook the whole management of the case himself, thereby gaining an advantage over them in popularity, since people thought of him as a man willing to take trouble to help others.

In fact, this readiness to help others in their time of need was his one saving grace was instrumental in his retention of power in Rome. He often threw lavish parities, lent people money willingly, and was always eager to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed his assistance in court. Crassus also always treated everyone in a warm and courteous manner no matter his or her wealth, power, or station in society. For these reasons, the people truly liked him. In Rome, such popularity was the handmaiden of power. Plutarch does not leave Crassus's virtues untainted. He makes sure to point out that greed often overcame and interfered with the good things that Crassus did, to further support his belief that greed is such a terrible thing that it overpowers everything else: … and he used to lend money to his friends without interest; but when the time
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