Advanced English II
May 22, 2012
Mr. Balazs 3rd Period
Julius Caesar Essay Prompt
“Might makes right,” a vacillating quote signifying power, strength and ability, a vast amount of power which may surely lead to ones reign or contrary their own destruction. Is it possible that those with the most power always live a victorious life, and those who don’t have a grueling idea of what they are capable of live within a lie, residing under the casted shadows of those who were capable of exercising it to its full potential. The quote can be easily traced back to Plato, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract” although hundreds of historians have found proof that leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and the Nazi Party had been greatly influenced by the idea of “Might makes right.” The simplistic three-word quote has a peculiar way of existing within everyone’s life without one actually understanding how or why. For example, a child asks his father “Dad how come the country with the biggest army always tells the other what to do?” The explanation his father gives is simply “Might makes right.” Although the child is young he understands that the country with the larger army is fully capable of dominating the lives of the smaller one, therefore making it the superior force. Ideas behind “Might makes right” vary depending on ones logic, punitive debate whether “Might makes right” can still be found throughout the world to the present day. The underlying questions are, does might really make right, can exercising your rights be the only way of receiving what you desire, and does your might somehow create leadership. Therefore throughout this essay you will be the one who answers my questions. Within The Tragedy of Julius Caesar one can easily find a variation of examples pertaining to the ideology behind might makes right, Julius Caesar’s assassination, Antony’s promise to avenge Caesar’s death and Octavious’s decision to assert his responsibility as Caesar’s heir are only a few examples as to how might can be the driving force for ones actions. After Caesar arrives at the senate with hopes of being offered the crown the conspirators encircle Julius Caesar and one by one stab him with their daggers. Once Caesar realizes that his dear friend Brutus is within the crowd he accepts reality, gives up the struggle and soon dies. Marcus Antony decides to question Brutus as to why they decided to kill Caesar but his response is simply that they will find out during the funeral oration. Within the drama Caesar’s ambition is seen as his tragic flaw consequently leading to the idea that Rome was in grave danger and the conspirators verdict to assassinate him. Marcus Antony being a beloved friend of Caesar stays behind after the conspirators exit the room, and promises Caesar’s dead boy as well as himself that his death will be avenged. Marcus Antony questions both Cassius and Brutus’ speech as to how Caesar’s ambition would only lead to the downfall of Rome. He then speaks to the public about the confidentiality of Caesar’s will, shows him the body and after the crowd begins to plead he decides to reads the will. The masses become enraged at the idea of Caesar lying dead and decide to drive Brutus and Cassius out of the city. Granting that Marcus Antony did not use any form of violence he did have actions in order to persuade the masses to drive both traitors out of the city, his love for Caesar was greatly exemplified and gave rise to the fight between Marcus Antony, Octavius and Lepidus against Cassius and Brutus. Octavius demonstrates his might by adhering to his responsibility as heir and downgrading Marcus Antony’s responsibility within the battle. Octavius’ army triumphs after Cassius, Brutus and Titinius commit suicide, Antony speaks of Brutus calling him a Roman and Octavius orders for an honorable burial. Throughout the play one can effortlessly see that power is the driving force behind the...
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