Ms. Waldo English 2 May 19, 2011 Rhetoric is used in the play Julius Caesar in many occasions. What is rhetoric? Rhetoric is being able to persuade someone for your own good. This is used when Cassius persuades Brutus to join the conspiracy, Brutus’s speech to the plebeians, and Antony’s speech to the plebeians. All these characters were masters of ethos, pathos, and logos, which are different ways of persuasion. Each person uses different ones in the play. The conspirators would no have stood a chance of killing Caesar without Brutus on there side. All thanks to Cassius Brutus joined.
It wasn’t all that easy for Cassius to make Brutus join. In the first place Brutus did not like the idea of killing Caesar. Cassius had a hard job to do. One way Cassius approached this was by raising Brutus up, A quote from the play was “ I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, as I do know your outward favor” (Shakespeare 892) this was building up Brutus’s confidence. This applies to ethos; Cassius is playing with Brutus’s emotion. The last way Cassius persuaded Brutus was writing letters to him. These letters were supposable written from other people saying that Brutus should join the conspiracy.
Actually all the letters were written from Cassius. This also applies to ethos because Brutus ends up freaking out about the whole thing and ends up joining the conspiracy. Brutus’s speech to the plebeians is probably one of the most important parts of the play. Brutus and the conspirators had just killed Caesar. So everyone is freaking out and going crazy. The plebeians now think the conspirators are evil and mad. Brutus has to change their minds. A quote from the play that Brutus said was “Not that I love Caesar less, but I love Rome more.
Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? ” (Shakespeare 948). Brutus was saying he killed Caesar for the good of Rome and he loves Rome more than he loves Caesar. This starts changing the mind of the Plebeians. Another thing Brutus did was told how Caesar was too ambitious for Rome and he deserved to die. This was the frosting on the cake for Brutus. Brutus ended up changing the minds of the Plebeians that killing Caesar was the right thing to do. Ever since Caesar died, Mark
Anthony looked for revenge. Since Brutus got the plebeians on his side; it made it difficult for Anthony to seek revenge by himself. It would take loads of persuasion to convince the plebeians yet again that Brutus and the conspirators were wrong to kill Caesar. To begin, Antony starts to bring down Brutus. He says, “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When the poor man cried, Caesar hath wept; ambition should be made of sterner stuff. ” (Shakespeare 950) This let the Plebeians thing for a little. Then Antony uses logos to show how Caesar was not ambitious.
To top things off, Antony reads Caesars will, which is more like a bribe because Antony teases the crowd talking about the will and finely reads it when the crowd is most desperate. This speech from Antony changed the Plebeians mind yet again. The play Julius Caesar is full of persuasion. From Brutus’s speech to the plebeians to Cassius persuading Brutus to join the conspiracy, each having a different rule. Rhetoric can be seen in many different forms. You just have to see if it can change your mind. Sources: Shakespeare, William, Julius Caesar, Elements of literature 4th course
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