Immorality In Julius Caesar

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The immoral acquisition and abuse of authority is facilitated by the presumption of inherent human morality within political systems. This is the dominant intertextual perspective between William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, examined through the values of stability and morality within politics. Texts, as manifestations of values and attitudes, are incontrovertibly influenced by their distinct contexts. As such, though an intertextual perspective may exist between two texts, the idiosyncrasies of their respective contexts will affect the purpose and delivery of the text’s core attitudes, generating varied audience responses to similar political perspectives.

Shakespeare recognises the imperative nature of the value of stability of governance, however he recognizes that the effective acquisition of power is spurred on by immoral action. Appealing to the Christian attitudes that dominated the Renaissance zeitgeist, Shakespeare criticises the presence of immorality in politics through the dramatisation of Brutus’ internal conflict: “Brutus: let the gods so speed me as I love/ The name of honour more than I fear death”. Shakespeare juxtaposes honour and death to reflect the intrinsic moral conflict of Brutus’ private loyalty and public responsibility. From the ambiguous resolution of
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Shakespeare expresses his attitudes on the undesired value of immorality, where as Machiavelli emphasizes his attitudes towards the potential to use immoral values to acquire and abuse authority. These values are shaped around the context of the Elizabethan era for Shakespeare and the 16th century renaissance for Machiavelli to evoke their differing

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