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Scholarly Article

Khadijatul Kaminy

Julius Caesar: The Essence and Illusion of Democracy


Republican Rome, Demagogues, Democracy, Fascism


There is a dividing streak between democracy and autocracy which takes a great deal of insight and endeavors to be identified. William Shakespeare explored that deceptively naïve line of difference and exposed the audience to the illusion of democracy. In the historical play by Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, democracy is sought after by the tribunes of Rome who are unaware of the worthiness of the citizens to live up to the ideals of democracy. That democracy is too unreal to be effected at the heart of this play. On the other hand, we find fascist demagogues who win their bets and emerge victoriously. It becomes conspicuous that the common people of Rome are not suitable for the pure republican state. With power at hand, they do unimaginably unwise actions and more importantly, they are not even corrigible. At the same time, the play expresses a surprising amount of attraction of the common people towards fascist demagogues. This allure is universal and people of all times have fallen into the trap which I have shown with examples of real demagogues in this paper. This paper tries to explore the practical possibility of implementation of democracy and furthermore, it presents the current democratic situation of the world and its relevance to Shakespearean political thought.

About the Author

Khadijatul Kaminy is working as a lecturer at East West University, Dhaka. The author is

passionate about books and writes book reviews for national newspapers. Her areas of

interest include South Asian Literature, Victorian Literature and Translation Studies. She

may be contacted at

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