Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Page 1 of 2

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

By | May 2011
Page 1 of 2
Explain some of the key ideas in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Some of the key ideas that William Shakespeare conveyed to us through his play “Julius Caesar” are leadership, loyalty and the power of oratory. I think that these are the most important themes in the play because they have the most impact on the outcome at the end.

Leadership was one of the recurring and obvious themes in the play. The leadership in Rome was questionable at the start. Julius Caesar was to be crowned as king but was blindsided and assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and Casca. Brutus was loyal to Rome and a friend of Julius Caesar but considered him to be too dangerous with power at his hands and thought it was best for the Romans if Caesar was not crowned as their king. In Act 3, Brutus said ‘not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen?’, as he tried to illustrate what he thought Caesar would do to them. People were willing to sacrifice a lot to gain power and authority. For example, the conspirators kill Caesar and Antony and Octavius went to war with Brutus and Cassius for the power of Rome.

Another theme in the play that was important was loyalty. Loyalty was important because you could not be a leader on your own. Mark Antony was always loyal to Caesar. He stood by him and wanted him to be king of Rome. In Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral, he said ‘my heart is in the grave with Caesar’. This showed that whatever Caesar believes, Antony would follow. Brutus was loyal to Rome, which was the main reason for the removing of Caesar as he did not want Rome to become a tyranny. Another act of loyalty shown in the play was when Portia; the wife of Brutus kills herself. She would rather die than live without her husband.

In my opinion, the power of oratory was by far the most effective theme. The characters in this play were very skilled orators. Brutus’ speech at...