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March 12, 2006


Article: Bowers -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Bower’s academic article on Caesar and his luck of gaining power is actually one article I am using for my critical essay. Bower does an excellent job of telling and giving details about Caesar and other characters that allow him to be lucky instead of a fair, well-deserved win.
Bower said that “Shakespeare had some interest in stressing Octavius’s control and responsibility”, or why would he have added him to the story. Caesar’s plan was “win at all costs; losers die.” It is told in this article that the need for power and control was what everyone in the story was after. Bower stated that “power is exercised rather that possessed.” Power is never controlled by one main character in this story which would tend to lead one to think that Caesar wasn’t as powerful as you think. He just exercised how he had power by ordering others to do things.
“Godgame” is a great term that really helps you understand what exactly Caesar did to ‘win’ power of Egypt.
He also talked about how the play shows a “discrepancy between Antony’s power and the fact that Caesar always prevails.” This point shows that even though Antony did have some power, because Caesar had strategic methods, which did work, he won all the time. Later in this article it says that “Caesar will prevail through organization and delegation.” I think the organization deals with Antony dying and Cleopatra following after and delegation with Antony fighting for Rome or Egypt as well as parading Cleopatra through the streets to embarrass her. With those three situations, I think Caesar was lucky that everything worked to his advantage. What do you think?

Posted by Denamarie at March 12, 2006 06:13 PM

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I definitely see the other side of the coin on this one. I took from this article that Bowers was affirming the fact that Caesar plays the game of politics much better than Antony and Cleopatra could. Caesar himself is almost always giving orders in the play, sending messengers, getting reports, and deploying troupes, and for every move he makes he gets positive outcomes. I don't see this as a sort of luck, but rather skill in leadership. He might not be the most likeable guy around, but he seems to have his eye on the prize.

If Antony had not killed himself because of his love for Cleopatra, he most likely would have just been killed by Caesar's troupes in the next battle (since Caesar was smart enough not to face in him a duel). And if Cleopatra had fought against Rome again, she surely would have lost as well. Either way, I think Caesar certainly knew what he was doing.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at March 12, 2006 07:18 PM

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