Perceived as an influence, political ascendancy and ultimately authority over others, power wields itself evident in all levels of human relationships from intimate interactions to the exchanges between the leader and the state. While power represents control, it is upheld through the manipulation and manoeuvring of complex powerplay established and cajoled through institutional recognition, group intimidation and adeptly via personal means and incentives. As portrayed in the Shakespearean drama Julius Caesar where foreshadowing omens and dramatic irony initiate the tension and mood of the play, Shakespeare presents the transitory and fatal nature of powerplay where idealism conflicts with pragmatism. Where Caesar is initially the institutional power, his assassination via brute force and the games of flattery and words accentuate the uncontrollable shift of power between the characters. Similarly George Orwell's Animal farm asserts the corruptible nature of power fabricated through the satirical parody of the Russian Revolution - the exploitation of scapegoats, propaganda and words. While Browning's poetic monologue My Last Duchess correlates to this obsessive need for power at a personal level, the feature article A tale of two socialites in its journalese format reveals the competition for status between two women via charm and flattery disclosing Dozoretz unexpected downfall from Denise Rich.
Whilst these texts accentuate the transitory nature of powerplay and its seductive nature, the intertextuality between the different mediums reveal that "the essence of powerplay lies in its unpredictable nature"; that no matter how skilfully you exercise powerplay, the results are unpredictable. / that power is a seductive phenomenon that can only be withheld through skilful powerplay. Institutional power pre-eminent in all political enterprises concerns itself within each text. Julius Caesar whose hubris of a lion, Mount Olympus and "as constant as the northern star", elevates his stature in the eyes of the public and conspirators who accuse him of ambition - threatening the liberties of Rome. Although not yet king, his effectively executes powerplay through third person address, "for always I am Caesar" and a voice of authority which proves his commanding presence and leadership qualities.
While this distances him from the other characters, it reveals his faith in his permanence which is reinforced by Antony wilfully saying, "When Caesar says, "Do this" it is performed." However, this confidence proves is undoing as he is termed a tyrant for absolute power. Caesar's triumphant entrance into the play is juxtaposed with the soothsayer's ominous prediction of "Beware the Idea of March." Although Caesar's political demeanour and power is insinuates through various motifs of thunder and lightning; the disruption of order, Shakespeare reveals the irony of his constancy and accentuates the unpredictability of power and the vulnerability of those seduced by power. This institutional form of power is additionally acknowledged in Robert Browning's disturbing poem My Last Duchess which amplifies the corruptible nature of powerplay that is present even in personal relationships. As Henry Kissinger states, "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac", Browning illustrates a Duke who protrudes power and status in his obsessive need to control everything in his world; wilfully destroying the life of his Duchess to regain immediate control, "This grew; I gave commands; /Then all smiles stopped together" as her naivety render her victim to power. Through his institutional "Duke" status, in which he easily gains a voice of authority via his "gift of a nine hundred year old name", like Caesar who initiates a commanding presence, the Duke achieves power whereby his first person imperative tone "Will " lt it please you rise?" and his murderous story positions the responder to intimidation and fear. The portrait of the Duchess in which he hides under a curtain symbolizes the Duke's artificial control over his past as he uses this possession to gain control in the present and to seize it in the future.
His former wife's portrait reveals itself as an ornament for his pride; his hubris blinding him to his own murderous impulses as he showcases his capacity for absolute power, "The Count, your masters known munificence/Is ample warrant that no pretence/Of mine for dowry will be disallowed." While Caesar is described as the "constant star", the Duke's pride allocates him as impervious as he chooses "Never to stoop", the imagery of Neptune symbolizing his belief that all things should be tamed, "Notice Neptune, through taming a sea-horse, through a rarity" - frozen moments that indicate his corruptive nature. Both Caesar and Browning's poem therefore reveal that the consequences power are unpredictable and reinforces its seductive disposition. While institutional power comes through inheritance or a voice of authority, personal power permeates all the texts as it explores the relationships between the assertion of individual power - among friends, colleagues and upon oneself. While the Duke uses fear and intimidation, Julius Caesar examines the issue of power politics over personal conscience - idealism verses pragmatism.
Consequently, flattery could be seen as a powerful tool in manipulating where power is exercised between friends in the drama. Decius uses this technique of flattery to persuade Caesar into coming to the Senate House. While he flatters Caesar in his address, "Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar", Decius uses his quick wit to distort Calphunia's foreshadowing dream of Caesar's death by announcing it "mis-interpreted" as he explains it "signifies that from (Caesar) Rome shall suck/Reviving blood, and that great men shall press / for tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance", this flattering Caesar to his impending doom. Likewise, Cassius uses flattery, personal motives of envy, his reason for removing Caesar, a man with a Machiavellian nature and as Caesar observes, possesses a "lean and hungry look." Cassius proceeds to work on Brutus' natural humility - "Gentle Brutus/O you and I have heard our fathers say/There was a Brutus once that would have brooked/Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome," declaring Brutus' duty to act for the republic of Rome. Caesar's shortcomings are additionally numerous and provide fuel for Cassius' personal attacks. Ironically, he calls Caesar "immortal", yet he builds up a picture of the epileptic Caesar who once had cried "as a sick girl" for water.
Utilising comparisons as he plays on the names of Brutus and Caesar in personal terms, "Brutus and Caesar: What should be in that 'Caesar'? he rhetorically twists the comparison into an argument. The consequence reveals that although Brutus motive is a public one, even the most 'honourable' and moral figures in the play are influenced by powerplay. His membership into the conspiracy is catalyzed through deception, trickery and forgery, the letter to Brutus, "Speak, Strike, Redress (in which he misconstrues to his own false arguments) lures him subject to the organisation against Caesar - his personal friend. Thus, Cassius effectively serves as a foil to Brutus where, through the metaphor of a mirror, Shakespeare portrays Cassius as a false mirror reflecting what he wants Brutus to see. However, exemplifying the unpredictability of power, once in the conspiracy, Brutus immediately controls the situation - shift of power from Cassius to Brutus as Brutus fatally asserts that: "And for Mark Antony, think not of him, For he can do no more than Caesar's arm When Caesar's head is off" - his underestimation is greatest world is a power-based context where the path and consequences power is unforeseeable. Likewise, Sydney Morning Herald's Good Weekend (July 21, 2001) The talk of two socialites discloses two women's actions in the competition for political power in the party of government - through wealth, ambition and charm where Beth Dozoretz and Denise Rich "paved their own yellow brick road to the White House and friendship with the most powerful man in the world" - Bill Clinton and the institutional power he wields through presidency.
Like Cassius, Dozoretz uses flattery against Hillary Clinton as she proclaims, "I just think you are fabulous" and power through institutional relationships, disclosing that "If people think you are close, they " ll invite you to the same dinner parties and then you will be close." Though Dozoretz thought she could scrub Denise Rich and run her as a party donor, she soon realised that "Rich wanted to run her own race" with similar intentions; connections with the institutional power - the President of the United States of America. But, as the feature article juxtaposes through before-and-after graphics of Rich's transformation, while Dozoretz used lies and deceptions, Denise Rich used charm through her new image of "golden highlights", wealth and acknowledgement through charity where "She hungered for a place in the firmament. So she paid a man to put her there." Her new powerful connection, (whereby Cassius utilises the similar intentions, knowing that Brutus will be a powerful force in the movement to murder Caesar), she was able to give her ex-husband pardon where he "maximised the use of Denise Rich and her friends" portraying that in a power-based world, power can be used to gain other powers. Nevertheless, although Denise Rich had successfully manipulated the president who disclosed that he would "never forget her generosity", Dozoretz perceived the threat to her own position and strategically used Rich's power to her own advantage where the columnist were teaming her and Denise as the "gal pals" - thereby gaining authority through the media and public scrutiny. The competition for the president's attention however epitomizes that "whoever rates the other out first, gets the immunity"; that power and control shift imperceptibly. However, Julius Caesar exemplifies that suicide is the ultimate powerplay at the personal level.
Both Cassius and Brutus regain control over their own fate amid the chaos and battle against Antony and Octavius. They both admit to Caesar's overall powerful prominence, pertained by his ghost. Shakespeare reveals that men either regret or ignore the warnings of danger which eventually lead to their downfall. While Cassius and Brutus finally learn to accept the accuracy of omens as Cassius notices that "two mighty eagles fell" in their battlefield, replaced by "ravens, crows and kites" which represent a collapse in power, they both die with Caesar's name on their lips: "Caesar, thou art revenged Even with the sword that killed thee" Death therefore does not diminish Caesar's powerful presence and leadership... Even after his death, the name "Caesar" undergoes metamorphosis from an individual man's name to the title of an institution.
Caesar's aura seems to affect the general outcome of events and as Octavius ultimately assumes the title 'Caesar' where Caesar's permanence is indeed established. The fate of the protagonists nevertheless mirrors the unexpected transitory and rather dangerous results of powerplay. Nevertheless, Julius Caesar denotes that "words are of course the most powerful drug used by mankind" (Rudyard Kipling), Though already seen in Cassius' manipulation of words, Antony's speech at Caesar's funeral represents Antony's oratory skills as a master politician as he attunes himself to his initially hostile audience. While Brutus prides himself solely with respect to virtues and blinding himself to his personal concerns "believe me for mine honour, and have respect for mine honour" as Shakespeare denotes less effective than Antony's through prose, Antony's speech is presented in blank verse to heighten the effectiveness of his speech. Using rhetoric combined with his impulsive, improvisatory nature, he is able to gain the plebeians support as he dismantles himself from the pivot and makes himself one with the people, "Friends, Romans, countrymen." He avoids separating his private affairs from his public actions "He was my friend, faithful and just to me" as he undermines the conspirators even while it appears deferential to them. Thus, using dramatic irony which sways the opinion of the crowd without attacking the conspirators directly, he is able to call them "honourable" in a sarcastic manner that the crowd is able to understand.
Anthony states in his speech that "[Brutus] Hath told you Caesar was ambitious," and then he retorts with images of Caesar where, "he hath brought many captives home to Rome", "when the poor hath cried, Caesar hath wept" and "I thrice presented him with a kingly crown which he did thrice refuse" - turning the crowd against the conspirators, knowing that mob power is a powerful force which deems to destroy and showing power's unpredictability. Anthony teases the crowd with Caesar's will until they demand it to be read to which the infuriated crowd yells out "They were traitors. Honourable men." Using Caesar's prop to manoeuvre the crowd's sympathy as he pauses for complete control and trust, "My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar and I must pause till it come back to me" while the imperatives "look", "rent", "stabbed", "mark", in which he emphasises the brutality of the attack moves the crowd to anger and revenge. Thus, whilst Brutus promises vague abstract ideas such as virtue, Antony is able to exploit physical, concrete things like Caesar's wounds, mantle, money, land and his will. Antony is therefore able to eloquently manipulate the crowd to "mutiny and rage" despite his false modesty - a result of Brutus' poor judgment and insane mistake of underestimating the unexpected Antony as a frivolous lightweight. Shakespeare therefore asserts that power is maintained only through skilful powerplay - results that prove unaccountable.
George Orwell's animal farm further reveals the unpredictable nature of powerplay through a political satire that reinforces the corruption seen in Browning's The Last Duchess. While this absolute power is fears of Caesar and which substantiates his arrogant behaviour, Animal Farm reveals Stalin's control embodied through the character of Napoleon. While Napoleon uses brute force to eliminate Snowball, as did the conspirators in Caesar, he strategically withholds all sources of information where he uses it as a cloak to hide the pigs' acquisition of power and luxury. HE uses Snowball as a scapegoat, "Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball", while he sustains his power by bringing back the threatening painful images from the past, "surely comrades, you do not want Jones back?" as his vanity disclosed with a portrait of himself painted against the wall of the barn.
Like Marc Antony, power is borne by words and propaganda where the pigs in his novel gained power through their intelligence to read and write - their reason for taking the milk for themselves with feigned concern, "It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples" - an insidious path to control. Thus, by feigning concern for the other animals, changing the rules and slogans "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" and adopting propaganda in the new song " Comrade Napoleon" which exemplified Napoleon's machinations, malignant corruption and his thirst for power and that words are indeed the ultimate powerplay for persuasion. In correlation of Antony, Squealer thus realises the audience's deep need for reassurance and is naturally inclined to believe the voice of authority. His nimble-minded, insinuating and vaguely menacing nature adopted with false emotions and act of tearful sorrow enables him to manipulate the situation as he tells of Boxer's last moments, as did Antony use sorrow to gain trust. Squealer's clever manipulation of words with understated menace, "You do imagine, I hope... ." , the manipulation of the commandments as they exploit the animal's illiteracy and his denial, "A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded" and use of statistics to gain credibility represents him as an skilful orator.
Animal farm consequently shows that the concentration of power in the hands of the few is dangerous because the few are incapable of applying it for the good of the many. It's unpredictability lies in the way Snowball with idealism and lack of ruthlessness like Brutus is eliminated from expectation as Orwell denotes that the pigs are no less different to the human complexities and tendency to turn power into corruption. Thus, as seen throughout the texts, power, exercised through powerplay is an unpredictable force that can only be withheld by the ruthless and institutional where idealism does not undermine its structure. Power, as exemplified by Julius Caesar through institutional, personal and through language is equally seen in My Last Duchess, the feature article and Animal farm which all reinforce that power is in fact an uncontrollable concept that deems to separate one's morality from their actions and it ultimately unpredictable in its consequences and methods of utilisation.