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Kings are everywhere in Shakespeare from Hamlet to Richard the Second from Henry the Eighth to Macbeth many of the plays contain a central element of a king or autocratic head of state such as Julius Caesar for example They focus more specifically on the nature of that persons power especially on the question of removing it what it means on both a political and psychological level how it can be achieved and what will happen afterwards This is not surprising considering the times Shakespeare was living in with the question of who ruled and where their authority came from being ever more increasingly asked in Elizabethan and Jacobean times the observations he makes are especially pertinent Kings and kingship also lend themselves well to drama the king is a symbol of the order or disorder of the day and a man who possesses almost absolute authority and the status that accompanies that whilst in contrast he is also a human being with the ordinary weaknesses of that condition Shakespeare is also said to have loved the drama of killing according to legend he would make a speech when he killed a calf in his fathers abattoir Richard Wilson A Brute Part The dramatic image of sacrifice is particularly prevalent in Julius Caesar Brutus says Let us be sacrificers but not butchers Caius We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar And in the spirit of men there is no blood O then that we could come by Caesars spirit And not dismember Caesar But alas Caesar must bleed for it IIi166-171 Many images of sacrifice are present throughout the play such as the servant returning and saying to Caesar They would not have you stir forth to-day Plucking the entrails of an offering forth They could not find a heart within the beast IIii38-40 Brutus and Cassius do not have any desire to kill Caesar but
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