Write an essay discussing the actions and attitudes of the characters in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in terms of the political theory presented in EITHER
Thomas More’s Utopia OR Machiavelli’s The Prince. Compare the evaluation of political idealism and political realism in the work you have chosen with that seen in
Shakespeare’s play. Is political idealism—insisting on the “right” form of government and on morally “good” policies or governing choices—presented as desirable or
necessary in these texts? Is it viewed as impractical or dangerous? Is political pragmatism—a focus on effectiveness in government—viewed as corrupt/corrupting or
as admirable and useful? Depending on which text you have chosen, you might consider: how might Machiavelli or More/Hythloday praise or criticize the actions of Caesar,
Brutus, Cassius, or Antony? How might they evaluate the actions of the common people of Rome and the relation of these Roman leaders to the people? What might they say
about the role of fortune and virtue as they appear in the play?