Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Shakespeare argues through his Roman plays that the consolidation of power in a single leader creates a more stable and prosperous nation than any other kind of government. He repeatedly demonstrates throughout Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra that when people attempt to share power, they begin fighting amongst themselves and destabilize the nation they're supposed to protect. Shakespeare does not attempt to conceal the flaws of leaders; indeed, he takes pains to reveal the worst of each individual ruler. However, the fact that these highly flawed leaders are still shown to rule a prosperous and stable country than their more democratic peers suggests that Shakespeare believed strongly that any kind of single leader, no matter how flawed, is infinitely preferable to shared power.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dr. Gideon Burton

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The Man Who Would Be King: Consolidation of Power in Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare argues through his Roman plays that the consolidation of power in a single leader creates a more stable and prosperous nation than any other kind of government. He repeatedly demonstrates throughout Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra that when people attempt to share power, they begin fighting amongst themselves and destabilize the nation they're supposed to protect. Shakespeare does not attempt to conceal the flaws of leaders; indeed, he takes pains to reveal the worst of each individual ruler. However, the fact that these highly flawed leaders are still shown to rule a prosperous and stable country than their more democratic peers suggests that Shakespeare believed strongly that any kind of single leader, no matter how flawed, is infinitely preferable to shared power.