In “Julius Caesar”, a play by Shakespeare, the question of murdering people who present a threat comes into play. In the play Casca says, “Speak, hands, for me” As Casca strikes, the others rise up and stab Caesar (A3 S1 84-85). This is the quote that Casca says before he and the other conspirators kill Caesar. They had been planning the assassination for a while and they got what they wanted. Brutus later says, “… If then that a friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but I loved Rome more… ” (A3 S2 21-24). In this speech to the Plebeians, Brutus addresses that he did not kill Caesar out of personal
rivalry because Caesar was his friend. However, he says he killed Caesar because he loved Rome more and he did it for the good of Rome. Later in the speech Brutus says, “… Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him …” (A3 S2 24-26). Here Brutus is talking about how if Caesar continued being a dictator, all of Rome would be slaves but now they’ll be free; then he says that he weeps for Caesar as much as he loved him. Even though the people of Rome really loved Caesar, Brutus was convinced by Cassius that he was causing a plague upon Rome and that is why Brutus took part in the stabbing. Even though killing Caesar really wasn’t the right decision because the people loved him, Brutus was convinced that he was a threat to society and that’s why he murdered Caesar, which shows that a threat someone presents to society does justify murdering an individual.
In the situation titled “The Soldier’s Dilemma”, a soldier named Dillon sees a woman run onto the road ahead of his squad and possibly plant a bomb then hide. Dillon is then placed in the tough situation to shoot the woman, who could have just planted a bomb, or there is the risk of killing her and she ends up being an innocent person. Dillon definitely should kill the woman because she presents a threat to the group of soldiers. In the short story “The Soldier’s Dilemma”, a couple weeks before, there was an ambush on the same road and many soldiers died. Dillon should shoot the woman because they were in enemy territory and the woman could easily be a part of the guerilla forces. Also, his Sergeant Johnson said, “Don’t take any chances”
(The Soldiers Dilemma). Therefore, Dillon should listen to his sergeant because the woman does present a threat to the squad. Sergeant Johnson also says, “Better to kill a few of those murdering villagers than to let anymore Americans die” (The Soldier’s Dilemma). Here, Sergeant Johnson is completely right. Even if the woman is a peasant, it is much better to lose one life than to lose the lives of a whole army squad. In this situation the woman presents a big threat to the squad so murdering her is the right thing to do.
In the war in Iraq, there were two leaders named Saddam Hussein and. Saddam presented threats to both their country and the United States. In a biography about Saddam a writer said, “On October 7, 1959, Saddam and others attempted, but failed, to assassinate the prime minister” (Jennifer Rosenberg). The author also wrote, “From 1980 to 1988, Saddam led Iraq in a war against Iran which ended in a stalemate. Also during the 1980s, Saddam used chemical weapons against Kurds within Iraq, including gassing the Kurdish town of Halabja which killed 5,000 in March 1988” (Jennifer Rosenberg). Saddam did many things to harm innocent people and therefore he presented a threat to society. He turned on the Iraqi government and tried to assassinate the prime minister. Later in Saddam's life, “In 1990, Saddam ordered Iraqi troops to take the country of Kuwait. In response, the United States defended Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War” (Jennifer Rosenberg). This is part of what started the conflict with Iraq. Saddam was trying to get greedy and hurt others’ lives and therefore he was a big threat to everyone and the U.S. needed to take action. Also, “On March 19, 2003, the United States attacked Iraq. During the fighting, Saddam fled Baghdad. On December Madrid 4
13, 2003, U.S. forces found Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole in al-Dwar, near Tikrit” (Jennifer Rosenberg). In trial Saddam was sentenced to death. He presented a big threat to society and that is why he was hung on December 30, 2006. It was definitely the right thing to do because of everything he had done throughout the years.
If one presents a threat to a person or country that can be fatal, it is okay to murder them for the sake of the people. “Julius Caesar”, “The Soldiers Dilemma”, and the war with Iraq all justified murdering an individual or individuals because of the treats they presented to the people. If you don’t take a stand against the people presenting threats, the threats that they present will just keep growing and getting worse.
Work Cited Page
"Risk Quotes, Sayings about Taking a Chance." The Quote Garden - Quotes, Sayings, Quotations, Verses. 1989. Web. 13 Dec. 2010. . Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Saddam Hussein - A Biography of Saddam Hussein." 20th Century History. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. . Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. New York, New York: Pocket, 1980-1989. Web. "Soldier's Dilemma -- Lesson Plan, Introductory Activity,Scenario for Shakespeare's Julius Caesar or Other Literature." Writing Resource for Young Authors, Educational Resource Forstudents, Teacher Resource for Home School and Regular Classroomteachers. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. .