Caesar: Gone But Not Forgotten Essay

1111 words - 5 pages

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 is dead so that they will not slaves.
Also, Brutus connects with the citizens by showing his allegiance to them. Brutus uses appeal to pathos and ethos when he says “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more” (Shakespeare 1249). He uses pathos to show that the love and alliance he has with Roman citizens is stronger than with his personal cohorts and interests. In addition, when Brutus says “I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my” (III.ii.39-41). Brutus self-sacrifices himself to people. He is willing to give his life to the people so that they can dictate him. This act demonstrates his strong allegiance to the citizens.
Antony supported Caesar during his reign and they were friends in the same social circle. Antony speaks after Brutus. Right from the get go, Antony uses appeals to pathos and ethos when he says “friends, Romans, countrymen” (III.ii.70). He uses pathos to connect with the people as friends and establish a good ethos with the citizens so that they may trust him. Also, Antony creates equality between all Romans by using asyndeton. Antony proposes his speech in prose. During Shakespearian time, prose were used by the common people. Antony’s use of...

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