Theme Of Ambition In Julius Caesar

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Sin’s Perpetrator and Victim Human desire knows no bounds; everyone thirsts for something. Some thirst for power, some for wealth, and others for truth. This thirst is a driving factor for most actions, but it is not always for the best. Nowhere else are the dangers of wanting more prevalent than in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The underlying premise of the play is that one’s own ambition can end up destroying him/her and creating unintended chaos. The play begins with Julius Caesar returning from a victory over Pompey to a cheering crowd of Romans. He is an ambitious leader who wants Rome to prosper and looks out for his countrymen over himself, though he has his own, darker, flaws. This selflessness is explicitly demonstrated by him saying “What touches us shall be last served” (III.I.9) when he is told to deal with a letter because it most directly related to him. His goal is to further Rome and gain the approval of his people, which he does very well. He even goes as far as leaving money is his will to be distributed among each Roman in his death. It ends up being his ambition, and the power and loyalty he has accrued through it, that is interpreted as a push toward tyranny, and leads to his death. Caesar’s death is set in motion by Cassius, who is distasteful of Caesar himself. Cassius despises being what he views as a servant to a tyrant and views Caesars actions to be steps toward tyranny. It is because of this view that he conspired to kill Caesar, pursuing his

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