Political Violence In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

In Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, Shakespeare shows many different types of political violence which can still be related to today. Shakespeare writes about civil war over how the government should work. This is a concept that can relate to our times and almost any time period. He was likely inspired by political events during his lifetime and before it. This can not only be related to his time but to modern day civil wars. He also wrote about assassination, the idea that without a leader a movement will die and undemocratic means to protect democracy. These are ideas or questions which can relate to our modern day because they are still being asked and attempted.

Shakespeare’s play is often played replacing the Roman characters with modern day characters, one version of the play showed Mussolini as Caesar. Shakespeare was after all inspired by his surroundings and the era. William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 according to church documents in Stratford, England. William Shakespeare died on his birthday in 1616. His parents were Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. He married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582. William Shakespeare learned Greek and Latin which suggests a strong education according to J.M.Pressley. He retired in 1611 Stratford where he lived out the last five years of his life in peace. Paraphrasing Dana Demange’s article Greek and Roman culture affected was the hit thing of the time in England. Since it was the big thing of the time it probably affected his writing style reading about Greco-Roman plays and history.

These stories from hundreds of years ago still related to Shakespeare’s time just as Shakespeare’s plays still related to our time. These Greco-Roman stories related especially to England who had recently gone through a lot of internal political violence. The murder of political opponents’ reputations was also very common in England at this time, Protestant nobles and Catholic nobles would try to end each other’s career by getting power and placing laws to hurt them. These turbulent times in England most definitely impacted his writing. One of the things that makes Julius Caesar a play that will always be relatable to modern times is its fundamental ideas. These fundamental ideas are things that will happen as long as their are humans and as long as there are countries. One of these ideas is undemocratic ways to protect democracy. When Brutus and Cassius kill Julius Caesar they are committing physical violence which is prohibited in a democracy, they are committing this violence however to protect the democracy.

“Extolling the play as a masterpiece about power and political violence, director Oskar Eustis persuasively defended his interpretation as a warning about “what happens when you try to preserve democracy by nondemocratic means.” The question of whether this violence is justified is one that is still asked today and it’s a question that Shakespeare provoked in his literature. In Julius Caesar another fundamental idea about political violence is set up which is assassination and how effective it is. Cutting of the head of the snake to see the whole snake die is an idea which still occurs in today’s conflicts. When Julius Caesar is assassinated by his opponents who want to keep the republic, Brutus and Cassius said they were liberators and that Julius Caesar was going to enslave them.

This was initially supported by the people of Rome but then they end getting their reputations ended by their opponents who stirred up all of Rome saying that they were murders and dishonorable. Soon the republicans where kicked out of Rome and died off. This can be related to the Russia revolt against the tsar where revolutionaries killed the tsar to free the people but soon found that their opponents had convinced the people these men where not to be trusted and they were killed by the people they believed to be freeing. In both the play and historical account cutting of the head of the snake did not work for the opponents of the people in power because soon they were cut off too. “The October Revolution was a pivotal event in world history with effects that reverberated through the 20th century. It plunged Russia into years of unrest, civil war, terror and famine”.

The final idea Shakespeare wrote about in his play was civil war over how a government should work may lead to no change but many dead on both sides. In the play after both civil wars and even the death of Julius Caesar nothing was accomplished. This is relatable to Present day Iraq were the leader of the undemocratic regime was killed and they have gone through many civil wars and are still going through them but no changes have gone through in the government. In conclusion Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is relatable to our present and always will be. He was able to see how humans had always repeated history and put this into his plays so they would never go out of style. His play Julius Caesar is undoubtedly still relevant to today. This is proven by the modern day events that mirror his play. Shakespeare’s work has lasted over four hundred years and still been relevant and it’s relevancy will most likely out live everything we know.

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