Thirsting for Power
Power is defined the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality. Each and every person possesses some type of power over another thing. Some people are content with not having any power whatsoever and then there are people whose entire lives revolve around that thirst and need for power. The latter is a description of two famous people in history, Malcolm X and Julius Caesar. Thirsting for power and wanting to much of a good thing can be very self-destructive. This thirst for power can cause people to be blinded but the reality of what is going on around them. Taking into consideration that both of these powerful leaders had this longing for power that ultimately leaded to their destruction we can identify many similarities and differences that may be relevant to their nature and the way they both lived, and died. The major difference between Julius Caesar and Malcolm X is obviously the time period in which they were from. Malcolm X was born in the early 20’s and Julius Caesar was born around 100 BC. These time periods are completely different eras from each other yet the thirst for power and a solid following was present in both of them. The thirst for power is something that has been around since man was created. A key similarity between these two leaders is that their thirst for power and their ability to have an influential effect on people’s lives was seen from a very early age. Caesar was born around 100 BC and by the time he was 18 had already been through and witnessed more than many people had that were in their later years of age. He was married to the daughter of a very noble man, fathered her child. Then was ordered to divorce her or be executed. Caesar refused to divorce Cornelia and her fathered ordered him to be executed which caused him to go into hiding. After escaping that event, barely with his life he was kidnapped in Grease Around 60BC is when his power really started to motivate his daily actions as well as increase the crazy thirst he had for power. “While sailing to Greece for further study, Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held for ransom. When informed that they intended to ask for 20 talents, he is supposed to have insisted that he was worth at least 50. He maintained a friendly, joking relationship with the pirates while the money was being raised, but warned them that he would track them down and have them crucified after he was released. He did just that, with the help of volunteers, as a warning to other pirates, but he first cut their throats to lessen their suffering because they had treated him well,” (Yavetz). The experience of Caesar’s kidnapping helps us to see another similarity between him and Malcolm X. Both men were considered very wise, intellectual and eloquent speakers. This worked very much in their advantage. They were quick to think on their feet and were able to persuade and convince people very easily. This is a very useful skill regarding the thirst of power because in order to have power a person must also have support and some sort of following. This is needed in order for the power to grow and to help to protect the leader from enemies who are not so supportive or easily convinced. The fact that Caesar could be held captive by pirates, entertain and joke with them while warning them of their deaths that will come as revenge, shows so much about Caesar’s attitude.
In 72 BC Caesar was elected military tribune and then would go on to speak to the people at the funerals of his loved ones. Instead of putting much of the focus on those who died, those who were close to him, he made sure that the people that were listening acknowledged his noble past and bloodline (Kebrick). It was during this time that the thirst for power began to really be set in motion. It was at this time that he was beginning to gain more and more of a following and...
References: Malcolm, and George Breitman. Malcolm X speaks : selected speeches and statements. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990. Print.
Kebric, Robert B. Roman People. Mountain View: Mayfield, 1993. Web.
Malcolm X. The Biography Channel website. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/malcolm-x-9396195.
Yavetz, Zwi. Julius Caesar and His Public Image. Aspects of Greek and Roman Life. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983. Web.
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