Brutus and Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar

Brutus and Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar

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The Empire of Deceit
In the play Julius Caesar, written by the playwright William Shakespeare, the characters Brutus and Mark Antony each recite a speech in the market place after Caesar’s death. These speeches, exemplifying parallelism, verbal irony, and witty use rhetoric, expose the true intentions of these characters. From these speeches, the reader can understand the true intentions of these characters and thus conclude for themselves whether or not the slaying of Caesar was one of justice or one of greed.
Corruption is always apparent in every society. No matter what time, age, or government, every man or women always has a second intention. In murdering Caesar, Brutus hoped that he could gain power. His intentions also presented a scenario in which the plebeians were pleased with his course of action. Why? With the logic that states that all Roman people were or would become the slaves of Caesar due to his immense power. Thus, in Brutus’s mind, he is the liberator of the Roman people. Trying to woo the simple plebeians in the marketplace, he asks them to invest trust in him. Brutus makes clever rhetoric such as his emphasis and emotion on powerful words to convey his message. But what the reader must understand is that this man is nothing more than a corrupt politician. Brutus uses language in his favor, stating he killed Caesar not out of hate, but in fact because of his love of the Roman people. If one truly understands the key principles of all language and philosophy, then one must be able to tell that Brutus is doing nothing more than using a “double-talk” kind of approach towards the common man.
Reality can be controlled. The reason behind this statement is simple- reality is controlled by keepers of the records. What this statement means is that any situation can be manipulated in order to favor one side or another. In the speech by Antony, the tide of reality pulls sharply out, exposing a beach of discontent and deceit. Antony starts his speech by saying that he is not there to praise the late emperor, but in fact accept the fact that Brutus is a praiseworthy man. However, Antony’s speech begins to pull the tide of Brutus’s reality once Antony mentions that Caesar was his friend. It is this simple notion that changes Rome’s future forever. Antony goes on to state that Caesar had triumphed over many enemies, thus bringing power to the Romans and bringing much fortune.

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In addition, Antony asks the question “Does this sound like a man who has other goals in mind?” One must see that Antony has used several language devices in order to turn the tables on Brutus, and plant the seeds of rebellion. Antony pulls on the good of Caesar, using pity and sorrow for his death in order to win the hearts and minds of the Roman people in the marketplace. He goes on to read Caesar's will, in which he donates his private parks to the public and fortune to all the citizens of Rome. Antony, in a clever political move, goes on to state that he is not in disapproval of Brutus’s speech, but insists that Caesar must be mourned, as he was a great leader. In a final blow to Brutus, Antony shows the wounds to the people in the market place, and mutiny against the government readily becomes the norm. There soon after, Brutus and Cassius are run out of Rome, and the government has fallen to the people.
What one can see from these two speeches is the use of cut-throat political tactics at work. It seems as though Brutus had his own intentions in mind- not looking out for the people of Rome, but in fact seeking the throne himself. On the other side, one must also see that Antony is no less guilty of ulterior motives. However, one has several options to choose from in this realm. Could Antony really be mourning the loss of his friend Caesar, or could Antony be vying for the thrown himself. Did he only stand up for Caesar in order to drive Brutus from Rome and thus take control after a short lived mutiny? The best laid plans of mice and men always go awry in the end, and thus, one cannot be sure whether or not Antony was true to Caesar, or no different from the corrupt Brutus.
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