Examples Of Rhetorical Devices In Julius Caesar

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Rhetorical devices aid in persuading the reader into believing what is being told to them. In the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare utilizes these devices to show how other characters persuade their audiences. Caesar was growing too strong, and the Senate, the branch of government, grew wary of this rise to power, so they plotted to kill him. Brutus, one of Caesar’s good friends, aids in this scheme, and speaks at his eulogy. He sways public opinion of himself by using an abundance of rhetoric to portray himself as a selfless man. Throughout his speech, Brutus is seen using ethos to build up his credentials. He persuades the audience into believe what he has to say. In the beginning of his speech, he says, Believe me…show more content…
Brutus tells the crowd to keep his honor and reputation in mind while they judge that he has to say. Honor makes him respectable, credible, and worthy of the audience’s trust, so they are manipulated. Ethos is used again toward the end of his speech. After explaining why he betrayed Caesar, Brutus tells the crowd, “With this I depart,-- that, as I slew my best lover / for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, / when it shall please my country to need my death” (III.ii. 46-48). Since he is trying to convince the crowd that he only has the best intentions for Rome, he goes so far as to tell them that he is willing to be killed if that is what needs to be done, perpetuating the idea that he has done no wrong. In using ethos, he justifies his actions to the crowd and convinces them of his…show more content…
By asking whether they wanted to be free, he reveals that a living Caesar would lead to a life of torture and slavery. Later in his speech, Brutus builds pathos by asking the crowd rhetorical questions. Asking the crowed, he inquires, Who here is so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended” (III.ii.31-34).

Replying to Brutus, the crowd can only reply none, in fear of being ridiculed by their peers. No one wants to oppose these statements, because they are all Romans, and they all love their county, so they don’t. Using pathos helps Brutus manipulate his fellow Romans into believing he is doing what is best, even though its all in self
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