Cassius does not back down following the almost dictatorial pronouncements of his equal, Brutus, even though he absolutely disagree heartedly with most of Brutus’s decisions. To accomplish his goal of completely removing Caesar from power he tries everything he can. He finally resorts to using his keen insight in human nature to convince Brutus by means of a long drawn out, passionate argument, coupled with bogus notes. In the conversation with Brutus, Cassius says, Brutus sense of honor, nobility, and pride more than he presents concrete example of Caesar’s actions. Then he ends up killing
“Danger knows full well / That Caesar is more dangerous than he” (2.2). Julius Caesar was arrogant, cunning, and a military mastermind. With these traits, he was definitely no ordinary man; to the Romans, he was a godlike figure that caused the senators to fear him. Caesar recognized his strengths, which earned him the title of an ambitious man. In the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Caesar's ambition helped guide him become the successful ruler he strived to be, but at the same time, his blinded lust for power led him to his untimely death.
Some people are easily manipulated due to hubris, loyalty, naivety, or other characteristics which ultimately leads to consequences and their downfall. Brutus demonstrates loyalty to Rome which makes him vulnerable to being manipulated. Cassius convinces Brutus to join the conspiracy by proclaiming, “‘Brutus’ and ‘Caesar.’ What should be in that ‘Caesar’? / Why should that name be sounded more than yours? / Write them together: yours is as fair a name” (I.ii.143-145).
The crowd reflects on Antony’s inquiry for a moment and then cry out in defense of Caesar and his honorability. They believe that Antony and Caesar’s ploy to help Caesar get the crown was actually an act of altruism and devotion to the Roman Republic. Antony knows the truth, but he also is aware that the crowd’s undesired reaction toward Caesar denying the crown can now be used to paint Caesar in a good light. By bringing this event to the forefront of the plebeians’ mind, he is able to remind them of the admirable, though not real, characteristics Caesar had rather than the unpleasant ones Brutus had previously mentioned. Not only do they have a greater appreciation for Caesar, they also are beginning to doubt the credibility and motives of Brutus and the other conspirators.
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.
Antony’s claim that Brutus is not an honorable man is supported by Brutus’s lying and backstabbing acts, his biggest one being him killing his “friend” Caesar and trying to claim that he did it for the good of the people. In short, Marc Antony stays true in his argument while Brutus lies as an attempt to get the roman citizens on his side. Along with the other superiorities, Marc Antony also brings to the table more rhetorical variety. He uses verbal irony, personal anecdotes, counterarguments and many other rhetorical devices. An example of personal anecdotes used by Antony would be, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?” This is Antony’s personal experience with Caesar that Antony uses to prove once again, that Caesar was not ambitious and did not deserve death.
This is a clear example of Rome’s census ranking system with its senatorial ranks held above that of ordinary citizens which in this case, the masses deemed the “plight of the unfortunates”. In this context, many Roman men felt that while they were enlisted in its military service and in active duty, “their own fellow-citizens at home had enslaved and oppressed them… fellow Romans threatened them with worse slavery than a foreign foe”. Of course, what they meant was their debt to their creditors, debt that could even be built up during their time in active duty. With this dispute and protest even in front of the Senate steps, “[senators] were too much alarmed by the way things were going to even venture into the streets”. Even with the prevailing threat of imminent invasion by the Volscians, the masses were more delighted in humiliating the ruling classes and just letting “the Patricians, they argued, do the fighting” rather than themselves.
The Underlying Motives of Brutus Understanding the human psyche is no easy feat. Often times, people do not even fully understand their own motives. This seems to be the case for Brutus in Shakespeare’s Tragedy, Julius Caesar. Brutus does truly believe that his actions are what is right for Rome; he truly thinks he has pure intentions. However, there are times when Brutus disregards what is noble in pursuit of his own glory.
In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Marc Antony appears to be a strong advocate for Julius Caesar’s triumphs and increasing power. However, like Caesar, Antony is extremely manipulative and powerful. After Caesar’s death, Antony manipulated the conspirators into believing he was on their side before requesting to speak at Caesar’s funeral. While Brutus and the conspirators remained fooled by Antony’s innocence, Antony took the initiative to inform the Roman citizens of the conspirator’s horrendous actions towards their beloved leader, Julius Caesar. Caesar’s funeral was a time of reflection for the citizens of Rome, as Marc Antony caused them to question their allegiance to Brutus.
The aspect of a character using persuasion is a common theme, used by William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, to tell us that the reason we make practical decisions is out of fear. Each character, Cassius, Brutus, and Antony, use persuasion in their own way because fear and lack of confidence stops them from doing it on their own. Cassius convinces men to join his conspiracy against Caesar, and even persuades his way into death. Brutus persuades the plebeians his motives for killing Caesar were not selfish, and conveniences his way into saving Antony’s life. On the other hand, Antony convinces the plebeians that Brutus and the others conspirators motives were cowardly, and he saves Rome from being ruled by someone who is not fit for the position.