Augustus: A Novel Themes & Motifs

John Williams
This Study Guide consists of approximately 70 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Augustus.
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Power

By exploring the ways in which power is sought and exerted in Rome, the novel shows that power is ultimately selfish, and that this selfishness has unintended consequences for individuals and societies.

While many characters display a thirst for hunger, perhaps the most intense desire is Octavius’s. Octavius’s quest for power begins as a quest to complete vengeance upon the conspirators of Julius Caesar’s death, and, if his peers are to be believed, his eventual near-absolute power over Rome is also altruistic. However, Octavius’s use of this power often forces him to make decisions which are more selfish than they appear. Despite his professions of altruism, many of Octavius’s exertions of power make tools of his friends and allies. He forces Julia, whom he claims to love more than anyone else, into many marriages for his own political gain. Octavius’s...

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This section contains 1,898 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Augustus: A Novel Study Guide
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