The Poetic Philosophy of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar



How to Cite

The Poetic Philosophy of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. (2024). The Political Science Reviewer, 48(1), 180-201.


Shakespeare’s masterful verse elevates Plutarch’s eclectic philosophy in the ill-fated combination of Brutus and Cassius, who find victory in each other’s moral strength and falter in their combined weakness. Through their diverse philosophical justifications and moral aims, these coconspirators prompt readers to explore questions of honor and nobility, fate and futility, and the responsibility of the individual in service of himself and his republic. Their tragic examples highlight the timeless struggle of all who would pursue virtue: the battle to be the master of oneself, if not the master of circumstance. Through the lens of this conflict, the play becomes a work of Shakespearean poetic philosophy, employing a tragedy of moral complexity and ambiguity to ultimately elevate toward the good.