Julius Caesar, Empire, and The Ten Commandments have three common themes: idealism, the social contract, and that treason only matters when it is committed by trusted men. All three of these themes are crucial to the development of each story. Idealism has taken a role in “Julius Caesar”, by Brutus convincing the people of Rome that his idea for Rome, with him as the leader, would be best, although very unrealistic. It takes part in “Empire” by the ideals of the Progressive Restoration, their idea of what the U.S. should be, unrealistic, and eventually brought down by the U.S. Army. “The Ten Commandments” shows idealism by the fact that the Egyptians/Pharaohs believed that the Hebrew were worth nothing, and should be treated as nothing, forcing them to do build cities with little to no food or water, however when Moses was declared the savior, he shut the ideas down and proved the worth of everyone, even Hebrews as he is one himself. I feel the authors gave us examples of idealism to express the feelings and thoughts of certain characters, in order to understand them better, and feel more involved in the story.
The social contract is an agreement by the people of society to cooperate for social benefit. The social contract was only to benefit certain people, the Hebrews (as shown in “The Ten Commandments”) are at the bottom of the social pyramid and the most important to the social contract, as without them, they wouldn’t have cities or hard workers. Poor people of Rome took any job they could have, even if it meant serving hand and foot to wealthier, higher ranking Romans, at the cost of their freedom.
In “Empire”, the social contract is modified a bit to fit the modern day, the people if the United States feel as though the government treats the army as their highest priority, and everyone who isn’t in or who is below the army doesn’t deserve the respect and honor that the soldiers have, they feel as that they are treated lesser than others.
The social contract is present in all novels to show how society works, back in Rome, back in Egypt, and in Orson Scott Card’s prediction of the future, which is strangely accurate to today. Treason only matters when it is committed by trusted men, this theme is strongly represented in each story, it’s even stated in “Empire”. Brutus, who worked closely with Caesar, a trusted man, was persuaded to commit treason and kill Caesar. If it were any other Roman who had no connection to Caesar, he would’ve been killed moments later, it wouldn’t have mattered if a random Roman had killed him, they would simply hang him. However, because it was Brutus, it mattered most. Deenee, who was Reuben Malich’s trusted secretary and worked for the Pentagon committed treason by going against her country and killing Malich. Deenee, whom Malich trusted most, and wouldn’t have given a second thought to her being a spy. Moses had committed treason by leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and going against the Pharaoh and everyone who he once almost ruled over. He was a trusted man and was the favorite candidate of the two, to become Pharaoh.
I feel the authors incorporated this theme to show the pain that each character felt as they were betrayed by people they once loved and cared for.
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