The following paper topics are based on the entire play. Following each topic is a thesis and sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This statement by Lord Acton, sent in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton on April 5, 1887, provides the basis for understanding the effects of power on the heads of state, and it furnishes an insight into one of the main themes in the play Julius Caesar.
Write a paper that shows how power affects the characters, the events, and the outcome of the play.
I. Thesis Statement: Julius Caesar is a play that illustrates the theme expressed by Lord Acton that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This can be illustrated by studying the actions of the main characters in the play.
A. Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus rule Rome (triumvirate)
B. Power struggle between Pompey and Caesar
C. Civil war ends with the death of Pompey
D. Caesar’s rise to power
III. Concern for the Republic and Caesar’s growing power
A. Flavius and Marullus disperse the crowd to minimize Caesar’s power base and protect the Roman Republic
B. A view of Caesar’s power on the feast of Lupercal, how he deals with Calphurnia and Antony
IV. The Conspiracy against Caesar
A. Cassius and Brutus discuss what must be done to prevent Caesar from destroying Rome
1. Cassius—wants personal power
2. Brutus—wants the good of Rome
3. Cassius exploits his power over Brutus by forging letters that will sway him
B. Brutus joins the plot to prevent Caesar’s abuse of power and Brutus assumes the leadership, imposing his wishes on the others
C. The conspirators have the power of life and death in Rome and they decide who will live and who will die
V. The Assassination
A. Caesar’s death causes a power struggle in Rome as the conspirators become the new leaders
B. Brutus’ funeral speech and his rise to power as the crowds want to make him king
C. Antony’s funeral speech and his rise to power unleashing the mob on Rome for his personal reasons
VI. The Aftermath in Rome
A. Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus are changed by their new- found power
1. They make a death list to consolidate their power in Rome
2. They change Caesar’s will and his generous legacy to Rome
3. Antony’s abuse of Lepidus for his political ends
B. The growing conflict between Antony and Octavius
VII. The Aftermath in Greece
A. The conflict between Brutus and Cassius
B. The impending war
VIII. The Civil War
A. The deaths of Brutus and Cassius
B. Antony and Octavius rise to power
Any analysis of Julius Caesar would not be complete without considering the matter of subjective interpretation. Throughout the play characters and events are judged not by what is actually happening, but by one or more characters’ interpretation of these things.
Write a paper that examines these subjective interpretations of characters and events throughout the play, providing examples to support your conclusions.
I. Thesis Statement: Understanding Julius Caesar depends on realizing that the audience’s attitude toward the characters, and the events of the play, are not rooted in reality, but in a subjective interpretation of reality.
II. Act I
A. Flavius and Marullus paint a biased and negative picture of Caesar based...
(The entire section is 1508 words.)
A List Of Great Argumentative Essay Topics Related To Julius Caesar
History can be a fascinating subject for a student, especially when you need to write about famous personalities who had an intriguing life. The important point is to search for the information that is interesting and engaging, not only for some simple biographic dates. When you write about a personality, you can easily touch other areas like the political system of that period or the morals of the society. These topics related to Julius Caesar will help you create a great essay:
- Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was maybe one of the first political systems that resembled the modern democracy. Emphasize his role in the Republic.
- Political Alliance. Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey had an alliance that controlled the region for years. Discuss the formation and the destruction of this alliance.
- Julian calendar. It was established by Caesar soon after he conquered Egypt, and it was part of a major social reform that was meant to strengthen the Roman society.
- Political changes. Caesar, who called himself the “Prefect of the Morals” tried to change the rules of the society and used his power to make members of the Senate almost 900 people.
- The family of Caesar. He had aristocratic roots, and a big part of his family was very influential in the Roman society.
- The relation with Cleopatra. He had a relation, considered marriage by some, with one of the most influential women of all times. They even had a son together that was later assassinated, Caesarion.
- Homosexuality. There are many stories that show him as homosexual. The truth is that it was a common practice of those times and it was practiced mostly by upper-class citizens.
- Deification. He was the first Roman to be considered officially as divine. When Romans put together games in his honor, a comet appeared, and it was a clear sign for the citizens that he had divine origins.
- The assassination. Although he thought all Rome loves him, he had a public assassination where hundreds of people participated. The famous saying “ You too, Brutus?” can be considered a symbol of the betraying.
- Civil war. Caesar provoked and sustained a civil war when the Senate tried to take away his power. Later, he got involved in the civil war in Egypt between Cleopatra and her brother.