Analysis Of William Shakespeare 's ' Romeo And Juliet ' Essay

1278 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
With Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare engages in a story centered on power—the control and authority to command nations. In the story, many of the main characters, such as Octavius Caesar and Mark Anthony, struggle to gain and maintain their grasp of authority. Yet, unlike in past texts we have read where control and influence are gained through acts of honor and ethical means, these characters attempt to gain their power by any way possible. These “Triple-turn’d whore[s]” (Shakespeare 2008: 280) spout promises only to break them at the nearest convenience. This paper will analyze the acts of betrayal and deceit used by the characters to gain their control and what it reveals about the author’s personal beliefs on rulers. Shakespeare argues that the only way to gain and maintain power is through betrayal and deception. In this essay, I will first argue that Shakespeare shows that there is little value in honoring any code of ethics if it will not benefit you personally. Then, I will show that the rulers in his play who accrue the most power seize any opportunity they can, regardless of any moral conflict. Finally, I will prove that power even trumps love as the characters of the play manipulate their loved ones to reinforce their control. Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows that being honorable amounts to very little by way of power. There are several examples of noble characters who stick to what they think to be right. The most notable of these is perhaps…

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