Julius Caesar Rhetorical Analysis

Decent Essays

In the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare asserts that men are quick to believe in what they wish to be true. Shakespeare supports his claim by illustrating two speeches with contrasting views using logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. The author’s purpose is to use these different appeals in order to create a choice for the audience of who to follow. Shakespeare addresses a widespread audience to demonstrate the power of rhetoric in his play by epitomizing how quick an audience can change views with a strong argument.
To begin, Mark Antony portrays Caesar as a humble, fine man in his funeral speech. Antony begins by telling stories that provide evidence for his reasons. “He hath brought many captives home to Rome, whose ransoms did the general coffers fill. Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept” (Shakespeare Ⅲ.ii.87-90). By bringing captives back to Rome, Caesar helped provide wealth to the city from ransoms. Antony questions how bringing money into the city would signal bad intentions. If the poor were suffering, Caesar would suffer with them, strengthening his argument because a tyrant would not bother with the poor. He provides more reasoning when he suggests, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” (Ⅲ.ii.95-96). When Antony offered Caesar a crown, he denied it three times. Again, Antony questions how this would be ambitious as it shows Caesar’s

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