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Examine The View Of Individual Standing Against The State

1358 words - 6 pages

“Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a person who resists authority” –Oscar Wilde, this quote shows how throughout history there is always an individual who will stand up against a tyrant. This is also a feature of literature as well which is shown by: Brutus in ‘Julius Caesar’ who is fighting because of his ideals for a perfect life of liberty, Winston Smith in ‘1984’ who is fighting against a brutal totalitarian regime and Sir Thomas More in ‘A man for all seasons’ who is fighting due to his conscience being able to rule over his loyalty to King Henry. All three of these characters are in positions of power within the states they will later fight against: Brutus is ...view middle of the document...

Two of these main figures are arguably in key positions of power within the states they are fighting against: Brutus is one of Caesar’s key advisers with a deep seated love for his city “I loved Rome more” and is referred to by the “many of the best respect” wishing that “noble Brutus had his eyes” so that he could see how honourable he is in their eyes. The other character in a arguable position of power is Sir Robert More who was King Henry’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and good friend and is described by the Common Man as a generous man “who would give anything to anyone” but it is important to recognise that he is a staunch catholic who would disapprove of Henry’s reforms in religion at least in private and as a privy councillor for Henry ordered the burning of protestant reformers. Despite both of these characters being “honourable men” and advisers to their rulers they realistically have no control over their states. However, Winston Smith unlike the other focused characters: who are political figures in their states, is a lowly technician in the Ministry of Truth, who’s only role in helping the state is the destruction of anything which goes against the party version of history, which guarantees them control over their subjects and is described as a feeble specimen with a “varicose ulcer above his right ankle” which affects his ability to even complete basic actions such as walking as he has to “rest several times” on the way home from his work.

Brutus’ reason for committing an act of treason against the rule of the Roman Emperors is primarily focused on ending the reign of Julius Caesar due to his apparent change of power as put forward by Cassius who radicalises Brutus into thinking about committing an act of regicide with the line “ This man has become a God” which Cassius believes a gross misdeed as him and Brutus were born as “free as Caesar” and will have to suffer “the winters cold” just the same as Caesar will so what gives Caesar the right to preside over Brutus and the people of Rome “Like a colossus “ which suggests that they believe Caesar feels he is totally different and he is like a god controlling the affairs of men. This idea of the leader being god- like is similar to the way in which Big Brother is portrayed in ‘1984’ which is based on the ‘high Stalinist’ period in Russia which took place in between 1945 to 1953 which is where the leader of the regime becomes a god like figure who is to be revered, this is achieved by the placing of his posters “on every floor opposite the...

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