Thesis: Othello and Caesar were both strong leaders betrayed by those close to them for political reasons

Essay by Sublime311High School, 10th gradeA, April 2004

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Shakespeare Essay

We've all been there before. You've all placed your trust in the words and actions of someone close to you. And what do they do? They betray you. It's rarely justified, and can happen to the best of men. Fortunately, most of us have been betrayed in small ways, such as someone talking about you behind your back, or telling a lie. Julius Caesar and Othello, however, were betrayed on a much larger scale. Julius's conspirators took his life, and Othello's caused trouble between him and his wife. Julius Caesar and Othello, both good leaders, were betrayed by those close to them for political reasons, but with different effects.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Everyone asks themselves this question. Shakespeare gives us no evidence that Julius Caesar and Othello were bad people. He actually alludes to quite the opposite. Caesar and Othello were both fair leaders who made smart decisions.

Julius Caesar was not a tyrant. He was a ruler who cared for his people above everything. In his will, "To every Roman citizen he gives...seventy-five drachmas...moreover he hath left you his walks, his private arbours and new planted orchards...To walk and recreate yourselves." (Julius Caesar Act III Scene II p. 51 lines 1-11) The people tried to crown him emperor several times, but he humbly and graciously refused. On his way to the senate, he would read the letters citizens would hand him in the street. He felt a sympathy for his citizens. In his address to the crowds, Antonius says "When the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept".(ActIII SceneII p.47) Othello also served his office well. Othello was a prudent military leader. Even if it went against common practice, he would not promote someone if he didn't see it fit.