Julius Caesar Power Essay

Submitted By thatotherguy123
Words: 946
Pages: 4

POWER People today read stories just for fun, not many people read the stories and ask themselves, “Who has the most power?” In the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, there are two kinds of power that are represented. First being major, and second, minor. There are many characters in the play that either have major influence in the outcome of the events, minor influence, or just no influence at all. There are many different powers in this story that affect the outcome of the events in the play Julius Caesar. Shakespeare describes five major and eight minor. The five major powers are held by Caesar, Brutus, Casca, Antony, and Cassius. Caesar holds the rawest power of the five. The play begins with his defeating the Sons of Pompey which represents his strong military power. Because of his achievements, some people, like Brutus and Cassius, start to fear that Caesar may be ambitious and wants to become king. Brutus comments about Caesar: “I do fear the people choose Caesar for their king” (1.2.79). Brutus has the strongest willpower of the five. He does all he can to save his country from ruin, which leads to his acting in a way that vastly affects the story. During the play, he makes three mistakes that show he has power over Cassius but also leads to his downfall. First he lets Antony live when Cassius suggests killing him. Second, Brutus lets Antony speak at Caesar’s funeral despite Cassius’ opposition. Third, he attacks with his troops too early against Cassius’ wishes. After he kills himself, Mark Antony describes him by saying, “This was the noblest Roman of them all” (5.5.67). Casca is another conspirator against Caesar. He executes power in sudden and harsh actions such as being the first to strike Caesar with a dagger. He is the one that would like to kill everybody that stands in his way. This is what Casca tells Caesar before he stabs him, “Speak, hands, for me!” (3.1.174). This quote shows that Casca is a man of action. The fourth character in the story that has major power in the play is Antony. He is Caesar’s friend and the only person that stands by Caesar in times of crisis. He is a powerful speaker and a good thinker. He gives a speech at Caesar’s funeral which turns the tides. Citizens in the play also desire to hear what Antony has to say, “Peace, let us hear what Antony has to say!” (3.2.62). He moves the entire city of Rome against the conspirators that day, which creates a turning point in the play. The last character that holds major power in the play is Cassius. He is one of the first ones who wants to assassinate Caesar. Even though he is Caesar’s friend, he is willing to do anything for Rome. Caesar has suspicions about him from the beginning of the play: “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look” (1.2.194). These five people hold the most power in the play and are the causes of the main events throughout the play. Shakespeare designates eight characters with minor powers within the story. The eight characters are Octavius, Lepidus, Decius, Cicero, Calpurnia, Portia, Pendarus, and the citizens. Octavius does not have any influence in the play until Act IV. He is one of the triumvirs along with Antony and Lepidus. He is mostly described as a military leader. When he argues with people, he always overpowers them and wins the debate. An example is when Antony and Octavius argue which side they will lead in the attack; “Upon the right hand I. Keep thou the left” (5.1.18). Lepidus is also described as a character with minor power. In reality he