Essay on The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, the story revolves around the various individuals who would vie for control of the Roman Empire. All of these individuals exhibit various attributes, values, and techniques in order to facilitate this goal, from Cassius’ intelligence, Brutus’ charm and honor, to Antony’s gift to drive a crowd. And although all three desire to become the new strongman leader of Rome, it is Antony who succeeds gaining the most control through his own specific talents, most specifically noted at Caesar’s funeral. At the funeral scene, Antony exhibits several qualities beneficial to a Roman leader, such as oratory and appeasement skills. The
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While Brutus manages to turn the crowd against Caesar, Antony turns them back towards Caesar and against Brutus and the conspirators, but in a more subtle, yet effective manner. As Antony names off Caesar’s numerous exploits, he always does so with the intent to oppose Brutus’s, yet he always ends each instance with “yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And sure he is an honorable man” (III, ii, 102-103). Not only does he sway the crowd with this selective choice of words and subtle influence, he also puts on an impressive show of emotion, even breaking down and weeping; “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me” (III, ii, 116-117). Antony also uses other mechanisms of persuasion, not only in clever wordplay and emotion but also in reverse psychology, as he tells the crowds, “I am no orator, as Brutus is, but as you know me all, a plain blunt man that love my friend...But were I Brutus, and Brutus Antony, there were an Antony would ruffle up your spirits and put an tongue in every wound of Caesar that should move the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny” (III, ii, 229-243). Thus, while Antony’s speech is clearly more refined and inspiring than Brutus’s, he humbles himself with modesty, and the crowd eagerly eats up every word that Antony says. Thus, as Antony gains control of the crowd, he consolidates his plan to take revenge for Caesar’s death, as well as
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