In William Shakespeare’s, “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,” Mark Antony’s use of rhetoric unleashes chaos upon Rome, as he exploits the fickle nature of public opinion by giving the impressionable people of Rome the false choice of mutiny or no mutiny and ignites violent mob mentality through his eloquent speech. For the purpose of avenging the conspirators in tribute to Caesar, Antony persuades the crowd to revolt. Antony claims that if he “were disposed to stir / Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, / I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong”(3.2, 124-126, 50). Antony gives the people of Rome the false choice of mutiny or no mutiny, imposing them to believe that if they do not defy Cassius and Brutus they will be doing themselves and Caesar wrong. In fear that they will be harming themselves, the crowd begins to revolt, resulting in utter chaos.
Because Brutus uses prose, it is a reflection of his rational argument defending his reasoning for assassinating Caesar and his own rational thought process. Mark Antony however, approaches the audience with a more emotional and tactful oration. He speaks in iambic pentameter, which is common when one is speaking emotionally and passionately, as in the case of Mark Antony. This is an illustration of his emotion eliciting speech and passionate rebuttal of Brutus' accusation of Caesar's ambition. As for the actual content of the speeches, Brutus presented a group of more rational and intentional ideas rather than Mark Antony's sympathy and tact.Brutus' preliminary addressing of the crowd and speech structure support his argument.
Mark Antony uses pathos and logos to turn the crowd in his favor by getting them riled up in anger against the conspirators and letting the people sort out the logic that he presented them with. Mark Antony uses weeping to give the crowd a chance to collect their thoughts. “Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar. And i must pause till it come back to me.” (3,2,115-117, Shakespeare). From this quote one can pull a strategy of interest, the pause.
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).
For example, Brutus addresses the men and announces that he is convinced that killing Caesar is for their benefit, not just his own. This is called the statement of position. Brutus then shifts to the statement of understanding. Here Brutus declares his reasons for wanting to kill Caesar. He believes that if Caesar becomes king, he will have too much responsibility and power.
“What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.” In Julius Caesar, Antony puts the words of his beloved belated leader into action, utilizing an amalgamation of techniques to incite an otherwise ambivalent crowd against the conspirators. His masterful rhetoric allows him to capitalize on the opportunity presented to him by Brutus. Accordingly, the three modes of persuasion construct an unequivocal path for the public to follow: ethos provides them a reason to listen; logos offers a rationale to distrust the conspirators; pathos ignites the fire for war. Initially, Antony employs ethos to garner the attention of the proletariat. Rather than portraying himself as a superior ethical authority, he looks to depict himself as one of the people.
The art of manipulation itself is a tactic used by skillfully managing or influencing another, and is especially used in an unfair manner. Throughout the entirety of William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, one can find manipulation weaved within the majority of the actions carried out by the characters within the tragedy. A multitude of characters within The Tragedy of Julius Caesar utilize the tool of manipulation in order to achieve a desired goal. Proceeding the stabbing of Julius Caesar, Antony swore to reek havoc in the name of Caesar by turning the Roman people against the conspirators. With permission from Brutus, Antony was able to manipulate the people of Rome with his manipulative speech packed with various rhetorical
In the plays Antigone by Sophocles and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare there are several betrayals that take place throughout the play. These betrayals are big turning points in these plays. What kind of betrayal that is going to take place depends completely on the person’s intention. For example, in Antigone, in Antigone goes to bury Polyneices she is betraying King Creon and his law he put into place, but this was a good thing because she was doing what was right and the gods wanted. Another example is in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar when Brutus joins the conspirators in killing Caesar, he betrayed Caesar for the good of the Republic of Rome.
In Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Antony implicitly challenges Brutus’ defense of why he killed Caesar by imparting a message of the humility and goodness of Caesar to the plebeians most effectively through the use logos, or reason, through explanations and physical evidence. For example, Antony began his speech with examples of how Caesar wasn’t ambitious, as Brutus suggested, by bringing up an occasion that the plebeians witnessed of when“on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious” (Shakspeare 3.2. 97-100).
Generally, when people get their way with others, they do it with words, want others to agree with their point of view, give them what they want, or do what they ask. Such people make choices based on emotional appeals, and logical tricks to set themselves up as well as becoming someone else’s interest. Powerful words are used as a tool to mislead and deceive even the most intelligent men in this tragic drama of Julius Caesar. For example, Cassius is able to persuade Brutus to turn on his best friend, Caesar. Cassius' ambition is to turn Brutus' view of Caesar a full 180 degrees.