The Attraction Of Power

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What is the Attraction of Power? Power is primarily the ability to influence and command in social systems. Power must be put to work to be power. Power is to do, to act, to produce, or it is simply energy. Energy and power are similar, but not the same. All power has energy, but not all energy has power.

The attraction of power can be summed up by President Vaclav Havel's speech on the temptation of political power. '...power gives you the wonderful opportunity to confirm, day in and day out, that you really exist, that you have your own undeniable identity, that with every word and deed you a leaving a highly visible mark on the world around you.' Julius Caesar is a man of such power. He is able to confirm his existence from the commoners who supported him. The commoners purposely 'make holiday to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph' and to hear him speak.

Through the power gained, Julius Caesar is able to use it to do what he desired. When Flavius and Murellus remove the celebration decoration meant for Caesar, they are put to death. At the feast of Lupercal, Caesar orders Antony to strike his wife, Calpurnia since "the barren touched in this holy chase, / Shake off their sterile curse". Antony replies to Caesar's command, " When Caesar says 'do this,' it is performed." This shows that Caesar has the power to be acknowledged and to be followed by other people, thus allowing him to do what he pleases.

With the advantages of what power brings, Julius Caesar wishes not only to retain his power but also to increase his power so that he may rule the Roman Empire entirely to his wishes.

Brutus, Cassius, Caesar, and the other Senators held the power to do things others could not.

"Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!". The last words of noble Caesar can be heard, as Brutus, the last of the conspirators, take a plunge at Caesar with his knife. Caesar laying there on the senate floor, illustrated the murderous intentions of the senators. "Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!/Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets". The sounds of the pompous conspirators can be heard about the streets. Caesar is dead and they are proud of it. Would this have taken place if the conspirators were not of high rank, such as senators? Probably not. Cassius and the other Senators had the power to, and committed murder. Brutus though, did not think of it as murder. "People and senators, be affrighted./ Fly not; standstill' ambition's debt has been paid". Brutus announces this so he could convince the people as well as himself that what he had done was not murder, but justice for Rome.

The crowd who had turned out to celebrate Caesar's triumph over Pompey whom they had formerly loved is now moved by Brutus, the betrayer of Caesar. They are moved not by reason but out of thoughtless respect for Brutus' honour. Brutus along with the reputation of being honourable has allowed him to have the power to change the people's mind, to his benefit.

Brutus allows Mark Antony to speak to the people at Caesar's funeral. Cassius objects to this proposal. Brutus ignores his warnings and demands that Antony will be allowed to speak. Brutus does this because he has the power to make decisions. Although the other senators do not disagree with him, they supported him because he is the most respected and honourable senator. They needed Brutus' support, so they do not want to agitate him. Another instance of Brutus having poor judgement is, "You say you are a better solider:/Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,/And it shall please me well. For mine own part,/I shall be glad to learn of noble men". In this quote Brutus argues with Cassius about sending their troops to Philippi. Brutus feels they should send the troops because they have the larger army. Cassius feel that this is a bad idea. Even though Cassius has the better judgement, and more experience as a soldier, Brutus seems to ignore him. Cassius feel that Brutus had made a bad decision,...
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