Julius Caesar and Other Assassinations

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Violence Only Begets Violence
Former President Jimmy Carter said “We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other…” (Jimmy Carter – Nobel Lecture). This statement is supported by the countless events of history and the many accounts of death from the past. Death is a natural but heartbreaking event affects all who were once close to the now deceased. But the reaction of the people who knew the dead may react differently to the incident. The moment we humans take our first breath, our death begins but for many people the time is not right. The response of a population is greatly dependent on the reasoning of the death. Murderous acts are committed for different reasons that infect the mind of those who carry out such an inhumane action. The murder of a powerful Roman is forever reenacted in the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare. The clashing art of betrayal and loyalty drive the characters to war. In the last century, the murders of two political figures around the world emulate the death of Julius Caesar as it is portrayed in Shakespeare’s play. Both assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the late former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto are similar to Caesar’s. The result of all three assassinations is violence that ravages the streets and civilizations of their respective areas.

Julius Caesar was born near July 13, 100 B.C. and grew up to a family of politics. An early introduction to politics helped Caesar gain his reputation in Rome as a potential official. At the same time that Caesar was presenting himself as an official in the Roman Senate, he displayed a powerful, deadly reputation as a general. Caesar was captured on his route towards Rhodes, in the attempt to become a better orator which would help him politically. He manipulated his captors to the point where they were doing his biddings (Bio. True Story). Then when he was let go, Caesar raised a navy and arrested the pirates that held him captive; he crucified them for their effort to keep him in custody (Bio. True Story). Upon his return back to Rome, Caesar was elected praetor which was the first political office one could hold in Roman society. Caesar’s political rising would gain momentum with the help of marrying prominent women and victories in battle.

Caesar defeated many armies during his rise to power. Over a span of 13 years he defeated a number of separate armies. Capturing Gaul and defeating the praised Roman, Pompey, added to Caesar’s popularity among the people of Rome. Shakespeare’s play begins with the people praising Caesar as he returns from his success against Pompey (Shakespeare 1.1). But not everyone in Rome is celebrating Caesar’s return. Caesar’s friend and a Roman official, Brutus, as well as Cassius, Cinna and others, is planning a coup to assassinate Caesar. The heedful soothsayer warns Caesar of the Ides of March but Caesar completely disregards his counsel. The blithe Caesar is too euphoric with the praise he is receiving from the people that he disdains the soothsayer. And the conspirators plan is executed with on the Ides of March. Caesar’s death is imminent since the beginning of the first scene and he is killed with the conspirators stabbing him at the foot of Pompey’s statue (Shakespeare 3.3). Caesar’s friend, Mark Antony, is given permission to speak to the people on behalf of Caesar’s side of the happening and his lament persuades the people of Rome to turn against the conspirators. The conspirators’ actions are committed based on an alleged “ambition” that would later consume Caesar but Antony provided facts to counteract their argument.

The people begin to ravage the Roman Empire after Antony’s mourning speech. Chaos runs through the streets and there is no way to assuage this rampage. The angered population of Rome roams the streets killing hundreds of innocent people, along with...
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