"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely". Three centuries before this memorable phrase was coined by Lord Acton, Shakespeare had demonstrated its dramatic truth in "ulius Caesar". To the events surrounding the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44bc, Shakespeare introduces the dangerous themes of thwarted ambition, political reaction and crude demagoguery in a brilliant indictment of realpolitik. Although the play is a sharp comment on corrupted political motives, it contains some of Shakespeare's finest speeches, and remains as relevant today as in the seventeenth century. The text of this edition is taken from the University Press New Shakespeare, edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and John Dover Wilson.
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