The Morality of the Pagan Hero: Julius Caesar

Allan Bloom, “The Morality of the Pagan Hero: Julius Caesar,” in Shakespeare’s Politics, 75–112


Julius Caesar is the story of a man who became a god. Beyond his merely human achievements — the destruction of the Republic and the establishment of a universal monarchy — he was worshiped as a divinity, as were many of those who inherited his name. His appearance ended forever the age of human heroes. Caesar brought to fulfillment the end implied in all heroic ambition; he proved himself the best of all men. He had no competitor; he was benefactor without being beneficiary. Finally, his spirit ruled Rome, conveyed the sole title to legitimacy, and punished all offenders against it. He was, in short, self-sufficient.

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