Politics And Power In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” One key term in Lincoln’s statement is adversity, which means a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune. Another important term in Lincoln’s statement is character, which means the complex mental and ethical traits we use to mark and individualize a person. Taken as a whole, Lincoln means that almost everyone can handle a tough situation, but if you want to see their true character or person, you can test them by giving them power. Furthermore, Lincoln implies in his statement that you could be a strong person (or claim to be), however, when given a taste of power or in this case, reign over…show more content…
For example, Brutus is in his home on the ides of March. Lucius comes to tell him that he has found a letter for him. He reads the letter as if it’s his calling to save Rome. However, the letter was written by the conspirators in an effort to try to get Brutus to join them (II, i,56-58). This clearly demonstrates the Politics and Power motif because it shows how Brutus is so anxious to gain power that he jumps up as soon as he is wanted by the people. He is losing all of his honorable traits, including the ones he earned in his political position as senator, by going against his fellow senator, Caesar. This affects the work as a whole because of the themes of the play, ambition, and conflict, have a strong impact on what Shakespeare is ultimately trying to express between the main characters. Ambition has an effect on the plot because Caesar is a very ambitious man. This alone and the numerous letters Brutus has been receiving leads him to think that he is no good for Rome, Caesar’s ambition worries Brutus. Cassius is a man of great ambition also. So much so that he’s so jealous of Caesar that he is willing to kill him in order to gain more power for himself, this being the conflict. Both the theme of Ambition and Conflict and the Motif of Politics and Power clearly shows that the Lens is true because, in Scene two, Brutus was really empowered and given
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