Power Leads to Corruption

The play Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragedy play which explores many aspects of life. One main thing carried throughout the whole play is the flaw of corruption. The main cause for corruption is power and power is what many characters in Julius Caesar seek. Julius Caesar himself is the most powerful man, and although power has driven him into corruption, he is not the worst, most corrupt character in the play.

Cassius is already a man in high power, but unfortunately power has many negative effects such as greed; once you have a bit of power, you want more and enough is never enough. This hunger for power which thrives in Cassius leads him to corruption. He becomes so greatly consumed by this attribute that he would go to any extent, just to get what he wants; power.

Anyone who has power will be tempted into becoming corrupt to a certain degree. This has happened to Caesar. Caesar is a man of high power and his thirst becomes stronger so his actions and emotions slowly lead him to acquire the negative characteristics of a tyrant.

The reason why Cassius is the most corrupt, worse than Caesar, is because Cassius uses Caesar’s corruption for a reason to start his own corruption in his hunger for more power. He wants the throne for himself and plans to kill Caesar to fulfil his desires.

Cassius goes about his plans smartly and gathers a number of conspirators so his actions don’t look so discrete. To get to Caesar, Cassius corrupts Caesars closest friend, Brutus, so that Brutus can join him and the conspirators with their plan to kill Caesar. Since Brutus is Caesar’s closest friend, Caesar would never suspect that Brutus would betray him. Therefore, Caesar would not be so wary of Cassius and the conspirators as Brutus would be with them. Brutus is also a high man in power and highly respected by all of Rome. If Cassius can get Brutus to commit his deed with him, the act may seem like it was for a good purpose as Brutus is an honourable man to all of Rome’s people.

Cassius persuades Brutus into joining the conspirators in a strange way. Possibly not the smartest, but it somewhat works. He tries to play with Brutus’s personal feelings and his hunger for personal gain and power. However, this motive is not in Brutus. This motive is what lies in Cassius and this is why he tries to persuade Brutus that by killing Caesar it will be for Brutus’s personal gain because this is what Cassius feels inside himself.

“Men at some time are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves that we are underlings.

Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that “Caesar”?

Why should that name be sounded more than yours?

Write them together, yours is as fair a name;

Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;

Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em,

“Brutus” will start a spirit as soon as “Caesar.””

Here, Cassius tells Brutus that Caesar should not have any more power than Brutus as Caesar is no better than Brutus as they should have equal rights.

In the play, Caesar may seem the most corrupt character, and he is corrupt, but not the worst. Cassius’ motives for becoming corrupt himself is the reason why he is the most corrupt. On his way to power, he even corrupts Caesar’s best friend as well so he can get the Caesar and take the throne.

2 thoughts on “Power Leads to Corruption

  1. Wow. This is a really good post. Your thoughts are really powerful, and you used a good quote to address your point of view. The only thing that I couldn’t understand was how Caesar was corrupt. What did he do to give you that point of view? Besides that, this was an awesome blog post 🙂

  2. I am completely with Constance279. This was a very well written and thought through post. You didn’t clearly explain how Caesar was corrupt, though well done on doing an amazing job

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