Marxist Literary Criticism of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare The Marxist concept of literacy criticism is not as popular as other methods of criticism. However, the method has found wide application in interpretation and understanding of Shakespeare’s work. The term Marxism was derived from Karl Marx who war was the first author to write a literacy criticism of Shakespeare’s work. Karl Marx was interested in the unique use of language and political satire that characterized Shakespeare’s work. Julius Caesar was a play written by William Shakespeare depicting the fall and assassination of the Roman dictator, Julius Caesar.
This essay will therefore present a Marxist criticism of the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. The main aspect of contradiction that comes out in the play is the political divide. The play depicts the struggle between socialism and capitalism. Although capitalism had been considered more fashionable than socialism, most scholars including Shakespeare declared their support for socialism. However, in the play Shakespeare does not declare a firm stand against capitalism. According to the play, Shakespeare seems to have divided view concerning capitalism.
In addition, Shakespeare does not make a firm stand on whether he is a proletarian or a capital owner. Capitalism was heading to a self-destruction due to the struggles that existed between different classes of people in a capitalist regime (Halliday, 1964). For instance, within a capitalistic regime, there was struggle between the middle class and industrial workers. Moreover, a capitalist regime was the source of conflict between middle class citizens and capital owners. Although Shakespeare considered these struggles as the source of destruction for capitalism, he was unable to prove the phenomenon through the play.
His play illustrates the collaboration of capital owners and middle class citizens to launch a rebellion against the governing regime. In the play, Caesar compares himself as the northern star or the immortal person. However, the character does not play this role effectively since he dies before the play is completed. His self-declaration as an immortal being makes the audience believe that he plays an axial role in the play. Similarly, Brutus does not play his role effectively as an immortal character as earlier depicted. This depicts the struggles that have existed between capitalism and socialism and the human desire of creating a utopian sate (Halliday, 1964).
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