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Is this an Ok response? (1 Viewer)


Mar 29, 2015
Hey Guys;

Module A please. I find this the most difficult out of the three as I find the concept of leadership with political views a bit struggling, but here it goes. Thanks so much btw.

Does the treatment of personal morality in Julius Caesar and The Prince reveal similarities or reinforce the text's’ distinctive qualities?

Morals are distinctive qualities which every human possess, but how they choose to act upon it builds up and forms their character. Dramatic play, ‘Julius Caesar’ conveys this imposed idea of morals by forging the historical concept of the Roman monarch Julius Caesar with Shakespeare's political context, while focusing on a goodwill vs hatred and free will vs fortune approach. In comparison, political treatise ‘The Prince’ incorporates historical events aswell to evidently support the concepts put forward to running a perfect kingdom. As both texts use historical references to compare qualities exposed in righteous characters,

‘Julius Caesar’ is a dramatic play, written by William Shakespeare in 1599 depicting the historical monarch Julius Caesar whose life is influenced by the playwright’s, Elizabethan era political context. Shakespeare attempts to communicate to the audience his dilemmas with the ruling government which is implemented into the plays four main characters and the machiavellian choices they adopt. These four main characters are Antony, Brutus, Julius Caesar and Cassius who have opposing ideals of morality and good will vs hatred. Throughout the play, the evident power struggle between good and evil persists which reinforces ideas of morality and more importantly persuasion. In Antony's funeral speech (page 745), it is noticeable how Antony contains the qualities to seduce the fickle plebs in seeing the horror and mutiny behind Brutus’ act of murdering Caesar. The repetition of “Brutus was an honourable man” manipulates the situation relating to Shakespeare wanting to seduce his crowd into choosing a side within the play and their problems with the Queen. From this scene it is evident that Shakespeare attempts to beguile the crowd into realising the problems with the infamous Queen Elizabeth and how it could dramatically place England into turmoil if she suddenly dies without a heir.

In comparison is Niccolo Machiavelli's political treatise ‘The Prince’ written in 1509 for his lord, Lorenzo De Medici. During the composition of the Prince, Italy was in a turmoil state as Italian leaders were being assassinated and quickly replaced, similar to the concept presented in Shakespeare's play. Machiavelli himself was a political associate who had a strong relationship with the past governor of Italy though it broke after the new leader took back the reign and exiled Machiavelli. ‘The Prince’ specifically is a guideline contrasting the perfect handbook to running a kingdom. It seems that Machiavelli totally disregards morals if it means becoming the ideal ruler. Machiavelli believes that if a leader has the power to gain people's goodwill, then that ruler has no reason to fear hatred and conspiracies.I Goodwill is a political instrument which can insure stability of a Prince's reign, presented in the metaphor in “Better to have a name for miserliness, which breeds disgrace without hatred, than, in pursuing a name for liberality. The idea of breeding disgrace connects to Machiavelli's belief that Hatred will cause a civilization to worship and attempt to not disappoint the ruler as the goodwill with present a lenient affect. Medici had proven to have used this quality as he was feared by most of the Italian populace as his family was known for their brutal carnage.

The treatment of morals have various consequences which can heavily affect a society depending on how people use it. This concept is explored in both ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘The Prince’ though they both hold opposing views on the idea of freewill vs fortune. From Shakespeare's various plays, it is evident that he supported fate in saying that it cannot be controlled but rather an enigma which is part of everybody's life. He would have had faith that England would rise up and surpass distress after the Queen's death. In ‘Julius Caesar’ Cassius expresses to Brutus using figurative language that “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves that we are underlings” (Act 1 Scene 2). In this scene, Cassius uses machiavellian manipulation to seduce Brutus into murdering Caesar, which is a sly act though may result in a good conclusion for all republicans.

From ‘The Prince’, it is gathered that Machiavelli believed that Free Will can conquer fortune as it is a person's ability and use of morals which can exceed enemies expectations to winning and controlling a populace. Machiavelli believes that free will should be controlled as free will of the masses brought most of the empires to fall. Personification in “for fortune is a woman and in order to be mastered she must be jogged and beaten” (chapter 25) uses hyperbole to express the eager and importance of how fortune must be dominated so free will can be achieved. As of analysing ‘The Prince’, it is noticeable how Machiavelli was using his sense of Free Will to seduce Medici into restoring his political role.

The use of morals derive from specific ethical qualities which produce certain types of characteristics for various personas. Through play ‘Julius Caesar’, Shakespeare uses the historical context of Caesar to possess the mind of his audience in realising complications arising from the threat of Queen Elizabeth. In comparison ‘the Prince’ highlights Machiavelli's ideas on free will vs fortune and how he believes it can sustain a kingdom in which he absolutely disregards morals.

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