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"A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to
articulate human relationships"- Gore Vida. This is certainly true for
William Shakespeare, on of the greatest writers of all time. He wrote
such dramas like Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello. Julius
Caesar is no different. His ability to relate to human nature by using
drama accurately distinguishes Julius Caesar from the rest by creating
suspense, eagerness and tension.
Act III Scene II is an especially important part to the play. Brutus I
explaining got the crowd why Caesar was slain "as he was valiant, I
honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him" (ll. 30-31) and "Not
that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more" (ll. 21-22).
This quote proves and summarizes Brutus' point in his speech. To
achieve his goals, Brutus' oratory techniques were simple, logical,
and rational. Brutus' speech is very formal, controlled and it seems
that all of the sentences are perfectly balanced. Although he did a
very good job at explaining to the confused crowd that murdering
Caesar was for the good of Rome, he still had not won them over yet.
After he explained himself and his purpose, the people were reluctant
to believe him, yet there were convinced for only a short while.
Antony has sworn not to attack the conspirators, although he intends
to. This creates more tension within the plot by adding layers of
opposition. In Antony's speech, he paints a different picture of
Caesar "HE hath brought many captives home to Rome/ Whose ransoms did
the general coffers fill/ Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?"
(ll.80-82). Antony continues by stating, "I thrice presented him a
kingly crown/ Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?" (ll.
87-89). He asks the people if they consider this ambitious, obviously
implying it was not, because Caesar's deeds were for the good of Rome,
not for Caesar himself. This art of persuasion is able to move the
mob. All at once, they discard "noble Brutus" and listen to Antony who
is a "plain blunt man". Clearly wooed by his impressive oration, the
mob alters the fate of the conspirators, adding more suspense and
drama to the plot. During the whole scene, it teases us leaving us on
the edge waiting for the conclusion.
The introduction of two characters adds suspense in Act II.
Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, tries to convince him to stay at home.
Being persistent she is able to convince him "Do not go forth today:
call it my fear/ That keeps you in the house, and not your own" (Scene
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whether Calphurnia can change his fate keeps the plot going. Her dream
also foreshadows events that will occur later in the play. This
generates a feeling of great curiosity and anxious uncertainty about
the outcome of events that are about to occur. Extending this feeling
is Artemidorus, who intends to give Caesar a letter warning him of
Brutus. Artemidorus' note give Caesar another chance to save his life;
will he read it? The possibility of saving Caesars life stretches time
before he actually meets his fate, and therefore adds to the suspense.
There is a continuation of suspense and tension. Brutus' soliloquy is
full of ethical question. "I know no personal cause to spurn at him"
(Act II, Scene I, ll. 14), he is still pondering the fact to kill his
friend for the better of Rome. With continuing distress, he concluded
that "But when he once attains the up most round, He then unto the
ladder turns his back" (Act II, Scene I, ll. 27-28). The conspirators
furthermore continue to tease Brutus with vanity. With a devised plan,
Brutus truly believes that what they intend to do is a noble act for
the people of Rome. In a way, he is the only one who truly believes
this. As Antony stated, he was the noblest of them all. All other men
did it in envy, except for Brutus. This adds to the play because his
characteristics heighten it. Brutus, a noble man, is an idealist who
stands on principles above all else. The conspirators believe he can
be convinced to join them by persuading him that Caesar is a threat to
Rome. Torn between Caesar and Rome, his moral duty and obligation adds
another layer of suspense.
To emphasize drama within the play, Shakespeare uses different
techniques to advance, heighten, and clarify scenes. By using
suspense, eagerness, and tension, he is able to accomplish this.
Brutus and Antony's speech depicts a perfect scene where suspense is
used. The mob is easily swayed and extremely significant to the fate
of the conspirators. For instance adding to the eagerness is
Artemidorus who in fact has a small part and adds tension to Caesars
death. Proving that to heighten the play, it is sufficient talent the
ability to articulate human relationships.