Caesar: Gone but not Forgotten

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Julius Caesar was written by Shakespeare in the Elizabethan Era. Julius Caesar relates the story of the conspiracies against the new dictator of Rome, Julius Caesar. In the play, a group of conspirators against Caesar’s recent rise to power plot to assassinate him. The conspirators eventually kill Caesar, and his mentee/confidant, Antony, wishes to say a funeral speech in his honor. The conspirators agree to let him speak and they let one their own, Brutus, speak as well. The funeral speeches are a major turning point in the play, because their speeches moved the play in a new direction. Antony is more effective in his funeral speech to the Roman people than Brutus, because of Antony’s use of appeals to pathos/logos/ethos, evidence, and length outweigh Brutus’ funeral speech. Brutus is one of the conspirators and plays a leadership role among them. He speaks before Antony and delivers his reasons for Caesar’s death. Brutus’ speech uses appeal to logos when he says “who is so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak, for him have I offended” (III.ii.25-26). This questions Brutus asks the people is heavily rhetorical. No one wants to be a slave or oppressed, it is against human nature to be forced to bondage. Similarly, this same concept is shown when Brutus says “had you [the people of Rome] rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen?” (III.ii.20-22). This statement is also a false dilemma. The audience and the people of Rome do not know if Caesar would have enslaved them because he can no longer prove if he can. The fact that Brutus uses “slavery” as a technique against Caesar is appeal to fear. Brutus installs fear in the people so that they will feel satisfied that Caesar i... ... middle of paper ... .... He even does a personal blow to Brutus to make him appear to be more of a traitor. Antony says “for Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel. Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him! This was the most unkindest cut of all; for when the noble Caesar saw him stab, ingratitude, more strong that traitors’ arms, quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart” (III.ii.178-183). Caesar held Brutus in high regards as a friend. That he did this to him was the worst thing that a friend could do to another love. This statement establishes Brutus as a disloyal person who cannot be trusted. These characteristics are not favorable for a potential leader of Rome. Although, Antony and Brutus both brought good ideas to their speeches, Antony had a more effective argument. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.
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