Julius Caesar Journal

Frankie Gioino


The fear of power corruption is an ultimate theme in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. Shakespeare states that absolute power corrupts absolutely in many different ways such as using character’s soliloquies to support his opinions and uses figurative language to emphasize his points. First, Shakespeare introduces his opinions about absolute power in Brutus’s famous soliloquy in scene two. “And then, I grant, we put a sting in him, That at his will he may do danger with.” (Act II, sc. i). In these lines, Brutus is stating that if the people were to “put a sting in him” or give him power, he will “do danger with” or accept it fully and cause damage with the amount of trust is placed into him. This shows Shakespeare’s opinions about power in which he believes that if power is given and the push is given, damage will be done no matter what. Shakespeare also emphasized his opinions about power corruption through his use of rhetorics. He uses pathos, logos, ethos, along with other rhetorical techniques to get his point across and help develop his theme of power corruption. When Cassius says, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings" (Act I, sc. II). This quote reflects on the theme of power corruption because it states that when something goes wrong it is not the way of the universe, it is the way of the person. This simply means that the universe did not order the corruption of power, the corruption comes from the person and their faults.