Persuasion In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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“Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.”

It’s never an easy task to coax another person to do your bidding, be it a simple favor or a request that will rewrite history. Some of us, however, are more capable at the art of persuasion than others. Take Cassius of the Shakespearean play, “Julius Caesar”, whose fiery words would ultimately convince his half-brother, Brutus, to assassinate the power-hungry Caesar. Although it was full of flame, Cassius’ speech wasn’t
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Henceforth pathos is set into play, as Cassius wastes no time butchering Caesar’s capabilities as a ruler. One prominent example of this is Cassius vividly describing how Caesar nearly drowned in the Little Tiber. Using language such as “His [Caesar] coward lips did from their colour fly / And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world / Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan (I, ii, 122)” would undermine Brutus’ trust in Caesar’s capabilities. However, Cassius’ comparison of himself to Aeneas, the hero who founded Rome, with the words “Caesar cried ‘Help me, Cassius, or I sink!’ / I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor / Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder / The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber (I, ii, 111)” would arguably be one of, if not, the strongest points in his story. Note how earlier in the story Cassius says “I was born free as Caesar; so were you [Brutus] / We both have fed as well, and we can both / endure the winter’s cold as well as he (I, ii, 97)”, describing how they were both born with the same potential and power. Thus, with this pathos, Cassius essentially paints Brutus and himself as gods—quintessential saviors of Rome—while shredding Caesar’s reputation as a wise and powerful commander like the skin under a scalding
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