Julius Caesar Essay Ideas

When you research essay topics, or you are assigned to write a Julius Caesar essay, the first question should be, “The real Julius Caesar or the Shakespeare play?” If it’s a biography essay on the actual man, himself, there is an abundance of information about him, starting with his birth in the first century B.C. On the other hand, if  your essay is about the Shakespearean play, there is a great deal you can write about and analyze. It compares well to modern politics, although with less bloodshed.

The play was written during the last years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. She had no successor and palace intrigues were rampant among those vying for the position. The political scene in 1599 was as tenuous as the one Shakespeare created for his characters. A Julius Caesar essay would require an understanding of the political undercurrents of the times and can be seen reflected in modern days. Motivations are the key, then as now.

An analytical essay can embrace many questions. Was Brutus motivated by patriotism? Probably. Was his behavior directed by the deceit of Cassius? Was Isaac Azimov correct in thinking that Brutus fell victim to vanity and false flattery rather than considering what was best for the people? An entire essay could be written solely on the character analysis of the protagonists and antagonists.

As in many of his tragedies, William Shakespeare used suicide as an element of the story. It generally turns out badly for everyone. What reason did he have for this? As with the famous death scenes in Romeo and Juliet, he has one think the other is dead and commit suicide. The victim isn’t dead and the survivor then kills himself. A little confusing? Why did Cassius kill himself when he thought Titinius dead? The realization that the loss of his best friend might be repayment for the murder of Caesar? The ultimate guilt trip? And why did Titinius commit suicide when he found that Cassius was dead? How deep was their friendship? Or did Titinius feel some guilt at the loss of his friend? And what of Brutus? Was the loss of the battle more important than his life? Or was his suicide motivated by guilt at his killing of his friend, Caesar? All of these questions are crucial to a solid and meaty Julius Caesar essay.

What analogies can we draw between the Julius Caesar play and modern politics? Are the similarities striking? Let’s see. Many people in the political realm can be the victims of their own vanity and pride. Patriotism can be twisted into destructive policies than tear down a country rather than improve it. Leadership is a quality that not everyone possesses. Could a person like Cassius influence the behavior of a leader today? Could he go so far as to orchestrate an assassination to serve his own ends? Would a politician like Brutus fall prey to flattery and lies? Could he be so easily engineered into a killer, under the guise of patriotism? Look at the headlines and you can see it still happens all over the world. William Shakespeare understood people all too well and used it to his considerable advantage in the plays he wrote. Human nature hasn’t changed much throughout time, and can be proven by the fact that Shakespeare’s characters are still believable today. A Julius Caesar essay should contain a variety of examples of the similarities as well as any behavioral modifications that modern society has invented.