Theme Of Of Persuasion In William Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar

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The qualities that should embody a perfect leader consists of selflessness, influence, and accountability. The method of persuasion is best used by someone who convinces others out of their own beliefs and morals. In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar, Cassius embodies a master of persuasion because of his ethical and emotional appeals.

Cassius is best as being the most persuasive because of his use of ethical and moral appeals while Brutus and Antony stay true to only logical or emotional proof. Cassius frequently uses ethical and moral appeal in his messages throughout the play because of his motivation to convince the people of Rome and Brutus. He states, “I was born as free as Caesar; so were you; We both have fed as well, and we can both endure the winter’s cold as well as he.” Cassius uses logical appeal to convince Brutus to follow through and murder Caesar. Cassius then uses ethical appeal when stating,” He had a fever when he was in Spain, And when the fit was on him, I did mark. How he did shake, tis true, this god did shake; His coward lips did from their color fly, And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world, Did lose his lustre; I did hear him groan.” Cassius humanizes Caesar by his anecdotes as a way to convince Brutus because he sees Caesar a great king, and by humanizing him he finds a way to make Brutus feel like Caesar needs to be stopped.

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Antony’s form of persuasion appeals emotionally because he changes their beliefs. In the play, Antony states, “You all did love him once, not without cause. What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason.” This presents Antony depicting the reality of the people’s feelings towards Rome and the death of the king Julius Caesar, and that they should repent and feel guilty because of this. Antony then uses emotional rhetorical appeal written in the funeral speech about Caesar and says, “But yesterday the word of Caesar might Have stood against the world. Now lies he there, And none so poor to do him reverence” Antony tries to make the Romans feel remorseful because they didn’t care enough for Caesar to mourn the day he died. Because of this Antony persuades them to go against the conspirators because of their guilt. Antony then uses this guilt to convince the citizens of Rome to cause chaos for the conspirators.

Brutus’s method of persuasion is in the manner of common sense and logical ways. He uses tactful techniques and his wisdom which then apply to his logical appeals. In Brutus’s soliloquy, he claims, “It must be by his death, and for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him But for the general. He would be crowned. How that might change his nature, there’s the question.” Brutus is using his logic to claim why Caesar should be slain. Brutus also then mentions, “Our course will seem too bloody Cassius, To cut the head off and then hack the limbs, Like wrath in death and envy afterwards.” Brutus presents a logical appeal when talking to Cassius because if they kill Antony there would be chaos and riots that would be detrimental for the city and people of Rome. Brutus sees protecting the City of Rome as a logical appeal because he wanted to convince the people of Rome.

In conclusion, all of the aforementioned characters’ use of persuasion help provide the public with what a leader should look like. It should subsist of influence, vision, and the ability to have humility. The use of logical, ethical, and emotional appeals help convey action that was influenced. Brutus uses his wisdom and logical appeal to convince others to follow his morals and beliefs. Antony uses emotional appeal towards the citizens and persuades them based on their feelings to act against Brutus and Cassius. Cassius bests them all because of his use of multiple rhetorical appeals. He combines that of Brutus and Antony and persuades himself as someone who influences and distributes among the people of Rome.


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