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Critically analyse the powerplay evident in Julius Caesar and in two other related texts.

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Introduction

Critically analyse the powerplay evident in Julius Caesar and in two other related texts A.I. Solzhenitsyn once said, "You can have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power." This statement alerts us that to possess power, we must not act in favour of ourselves, but for others. Power is a very complex theme that is present in history as well as the present. For people who assume power who do not understand the full implications of it, power will corrupt to the point of destruction. This can be seen evidently in Julius Caesar, The Wyrd Sisters and the collapse of Enron. Power is dealt with by several major characters throughout Julius Caesar. It can be clearly seen to shift through the hands of the protagonists in a variety of forms. The diagram below illustrates the shift of power: Ceasar v Conspirators v Brutus v Antony v Octavius At the commencement of the play, Caesar is the most powerful man in Rome. ...read more.

Middle

Antony, exercising the power of manipulation in blank verse, rather than Brutus' prose is successful in regaining the support of the populace, changing the mood of his audience, as well as the power which is supplementary to it. The mob of people then become enraged with the murder of Caesar - such to an extent that they destroy anything remotely similar, (Cinna - a poet with the same name as a conspirator is killed).This is the 2nd major power shift in the play (from Brutus to Antony), which highlights Brutus' ruthlessness. Antony realizes that the manipulation of a populace, and thus power are both unable to be seized by force. It is the people of Rome who must give him the power. This demonstrates a higher understanding of power by Antony than his predecessors. However, once again, power is used incorrectly. Antony uses his power to crush his enemies and allows Octavius to assume power. Octavius is the only protagonist who does not become mad with power and employs it with integrity to such an extent to restore order in the roman world at the end of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many executives of Enron (a US based gas, water & electricity utilities firm), as well as outsiders (including Arthur Anderson - a big 5 firm) had been making highly unethical deals which promoted the use of creative (false) accounting for their personal benefit, spreading to collateral damage. This demonstrates the shift of power from loyal employees to those who become deceitful leaches. As the article explains, "it was the scariest type of scandal. Executives, lenders and auditors all managed to look the other way while the company ran amok". Money was the main force behind this. The gods had made Enron's executives mad with the power to control in excess of $200 bn in 2000. However, by late 2002 all but 1% of the company's value had been completely destroyed. Yet another case in which people who had exercised power incorrectly had been all but totally destroyed. As can be seen through these three texts, power is a complex form of supremacy that is easier to earn than maintain. Those who become mad with power will ultimately be destroyed through their unethical and selfish actions. Hence, the statement: "whom the gods would destroy, they first made mad with power" is accurate when associated with powerplay. ...read more.

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