Brutus: Honorbound to the Grave
Of all the phenomenal, as well as tyrannical, Roman rulers throughout history, Julius Caesar is by far the most prominent. This fame is due in no small part to William Shakespeare and his play that bears the same name. However, although Caesar is the play’s namesake, the story’s central focus is on Brutus and Caius Cassius and their plot to assassinate Caesar. When discussing Antony’s fate in Act II scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus argues against what he perceives as the unnecessary and brutal action of killing Antony with imperfectly uniform sentence structure, juxtaposition of contrasting words, and symbolic physiological comparisons that illuminate both the confidence and unity of his rationale and highlight his tragic naivety and idealism.
By employing almost uniform syntax, Brutus reveals the confidence he has in his rationale, as well as foreshadows the root of his inexorable demise with the slight deviations in structure. In this passage, most lines are comprised of a single phrase or clause with no internal pauses. By minimizing gaps in the sentence, this mirrors Brutus’ intention to keep Caesar’s assassination simple and prevent it from “[seeming] too bloody” with the added assassination of Antony. (II.i.162). This also symbolizes how Brutus’ logic justifying Caesar’s death is leaves very little room for doubt or error, and thus perceives Antony’s murder is an irrational, superfluous addition to the conspirator’s plan.
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William Shakespeare in the tragedy, Julius Caesar, suggests that Brutus - although a conspirator- is still an honorable man. Shakespeare supports his suggestion by demonstrating Brutus’ real intentions in contrast to the other conspirators. The author’s purpose is to show Brutus’ love for Rome in order to show that his purpose is for the good of Rome not himself. The author writes in an urgent tone for the readers to know that Brutus takes Rome’s livelihood seriously.
When Julius Caesar met his demise, the people of Rome were split into two different trains of thought. On one hand, their noble, humble, honorable king was just murdered, and rage boiled their blood. On the other, who would have committed such a heinous crime without reason? Both Brutus and Antony spoke to the Romans, telling what they believed was the true reason Caesar was murdered. Although both Brutus and Antony use diction, unusual word order, and repetition in their speeches to Rome, Brutus uses them to persuade the people into thinking he was justified, and Antony uses them to criticize Brutus in a sarcastic way.
In William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, two speeches are given to the people of Rome about Caesar's death. In Act 3, Scene 2 of this play Brutus and Antony both try to sway the minds of the Romans toward their views. Brutus tried to make the people believe he killed Caesar for a noble cause. Antony tried to persuade the people that the conspirators committed an act of brutality toward Caesar and were traitors. The effectiveness and ineffectiveness of both Antony's and Brutus's speech to the people are conveyed through tone and rhetorical devices.
The topic of leadership in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has been discussed and argued ever since the play was written. The most prevalent discussion of leadership in the play revolves around Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Marcus Brutus, and the cause of his downfall. According to Shakespeare critic James Bundy, “Brutus... is a man whose affections sway more than his reason, in whom there is this tragic confederacy of passion and imagination against reason” (qtd. in Palmer 402). Ernest Shanzer, however, says that Brutus is “by no means devoid of political shrewdness and practical wisdom”, but he is a “bad judge of character” (Shanzer 1). Although both critics’ descriptions of Brutus have merit, Brutus’ shortcoming, as well as the success of the opposing leader, Mark Antony, is more accurately explained using the observations of Niccolo Machiavelli in The Prince. In this book Machiavelli outlines the characteristics of a successful leader. When using The Prince as a lens to read Julius Caesar, the correlation between a leader’s Machiavellianism and their success becomes very apparent. Marcus Brutus is undoubtedly an honorable and respectable man, but his morality prevents him from adhering to Machiavelli’s principles. Due to his lack of princely virtues, Brutus is doomed to fail, while Antony, a much more Machiavellian prince, successfully seizes power.
In the play Julius Caesar written by the whimsical, sophisticated William Shakespeare both beloved Brutus and noble Antony deliver their most thorough attempts to win over the delicate citizens of Rome into what they believed was correct. Brutus gave it a valiant effort in trying to convince the citizens that murdering the noble Caesar was the best thing to do for the people. In the end Brutus’ effort was not enough because Antony was able to turn every Roman against Brutus and the other deceitful conspirators during his speech with his extraordinary use of logos, pathos, and ethos.
Brutus misjudges and underestimates Antony’s abilities and his audience. When giving his speech, Brutus makes the subject on honor and abstract ideas using logos and ethos but no pathos. The mistake that Brutus makes is that he does not appeal to the crowd’s strong feelings over the death of Julius Caesar. Meanwhile, Antony easily overmatches Brutus because he does not overestimate his audience. Understanding the people, Antony begins in his eulogy appealing to the citizen’s feelings. Because of the lack of emotion in Brutus’s speech, Antony’s highly emotional and extemporaneous speech captures the minds and hearts of the crowd through use of pathos and causes them to become an angry mob that sought to scorn those that took part in the murder of
Brutus speaks with a calculated rhythm that appeals to logos. This is a result of his use of parallelism as demonstrated in the quote, “As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant; I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him.” (III.ii.24-26) The clever use of language guide the audience into believing his reasoning. He supports every statement with a rational explanation, that the crowd cannot question. Moreover, whenever Brutus ends a group of related and rhythmic statements, he adds impact by disrupting his flow. His structure adds emphasis to logic and has the crowd siding with him by the end. On the contrary, Mark Antony’s passionate speech is poetic as it is written in verse. “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me.” (III.ii.105-106) This metaphoric phrase is filled with sincerity that makes the crowd to empathize with him as Caesar had died only moments earlier. His expressive language and phrases were timed in such a way that reminds the audience constantly that Brutus has committed the crime of murdering Caesar. Although Mark Antony spoke unscripted, he managed to keep a pattern because of his underlying passion that worked well with his speech. Comparing Mark Antony’s and Brutus’s structure, it is clear that every word in both speeches was deliberate that leads the
In the play Julius Caesar, written by Shakespeare, we are presented with two characters, Brutus, a noble congressman of the Roman republic, and Antony, a loyal lieutenant to Caesar. Brutus, who is manipulated by Cassius to kill Caesar, is led to believe that Caesar was ambitious and was seeking to destroy the Roman republic as well as becoming a tyrannical king. Brutus, being the patriotic congressman all of Rome knows him as, agrees for the good of Rome, to join the radical conspirators and help kill Caesar. Despite his solid reputation and strong ethos, Brutus’s weak pathos and logos doom his speech for failure once Antony gets up to speak.
This essay will prove that out of two ancient Roman legends’ speeches, Mark Antony and Marcus Brutus, that Antony’s speech was superior. The story takes place in one of Shakespeare's most acclaimed plays, “Julius Caesar”. The main characters in the play are Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Marcus Brutus. But the only people this essay will center on is Marcus Brutus and Mark Antony. Brutus performs his speech because he is one of the major conspirators in the murder of Caesar, and he needs to try to gain the people's favor in order to protect himself from his own murder. Antony performs his speech because he is one of Caesar's best friends and he wants vengeance on the conspirators.
Arguably, the third act of Shakespeare’s famous play, “Julius Caesar” is the most important to understanding the play. Within this act, Caesar is murdered by Brutus. Following the murder of Caesar, Brutus and Mark Antony give speeches to the crowd of Roman Plebeians standing outside. Brutus speaks first, followed by Antony. Both Brutus and Marc Antony deliver very compelling speeches designed with elements of traditional rhetoric such as ethos, logos, pathos, parallelism, rhetorical questions and repetition. It can be argued that Marc Antony’s speech was the better of the two based on the crowds reaction, and the sheer composure of it.
In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare illuminates the themes of human motivation and manipulation. He examines the relationship between actions and motivations, cause and effect, and word and deed, using the symbols of hands and hearts. Throughout the play, the characters Brutus and Marc Antony express their different understandings of this relationship rhetorically. In his 1953 film interpretation, Joseph L. Mankiewicz demonstrates these characters’ understanding through both the play’s original dialogue and his own interpolated action. It is interesting to see the different effects of spoken rhetoric, as we experience it in the play, and the visual rhetoric of the film. The play itself complicates matters of motivation and therefore does not
One of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, Brutus is a noble Roman statesman whose honourable status ironically attracts conspirators who seek to use this as a tool of malicious intent. The name ‘Brutus’ was held in high regard within the Roman society due to the heroics of an ancestor of his but also, Brutus himself was held in exemplary esteem for his own deeds. Due to the prestige and burden that comes with his name, Brutus is ‘forced’ into manifesting the attitude of a selfless, honourable Roman accentuated in his altruistic actions but his merits ultimately lead toward his downfall. It is his status that would allow Caius Cassius to exploit Brutus’ mind. Finally, Brutus’ intense love for Rome leads him to be susceptible to exterior manipulation to alter his thought, as his actions would always be influenced by this love.
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Antony delivered speeches on behalf of Caesar’s tragic death at the Forum. While their messages have various differences, many similarities can also be concluded from their presentations. Brutus, Caesar’s trusted servant, acted solely upon his loyalty for the country of Rome whereas Antony, a close friend of Caesar’s, believed more in loyalty to his friend. This influenced their diction and tone which were exhibited through the writings of their speeches.
Brutus, a conflicted senator obsessed with his civic duty, convinces the people of Rome that his motives in killing Caesar were just and noble by rhetoric. Brutus is the only conspirator to have impersonal motives in killing Caesar. In fact, his motives are trying to find the best solution for Rome, and in the end, he must make the hard choice of killing his best friend for his homeland. As early as Brutus’ conversation with Cassius in Act I, Brutus exhibits this deep love and respect for Rome and how this love is conflicting with his love for his friend, Caesar: “[P]oor Brutus, with himself at war, / Forgets the shows of love to other men” (I.ii.51-52). Brutus brings up this internal conflict again when he tells the crowds that although he did love Caesar, he loved Rome and its people more. After Brutus’ murder of Caesar, he realizes that the issue of the public opinion of Rome is of the utmost importance. Because of this love for Rome, Brutus uses rhetoric to persuade these plebeians to approve of him and his cause. When Cassius warns Brutus about “how much the people will be moved / By that which [Marc Antony] will utter[!]” (III.i.252-253), Brutus tells Cassius that letting Marc Antony speak “shall advantage us more than do us wrong” (III.i.261). In these cases, Brutus demonstrates his awareness of
Julius Caesar was written by Shakespeare in 1599. This tragedy opens set in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar returns from defeating Pompey’s sons in battle. A celebration is being held called the festival of Lupercal when Caesar is told to “beware the Ides of march” by a soothsayer. Caesar pays no attention, thinking that the poor soothsayer had gone mad. The scene changes and Brutus and Cassius appear, who happen to be brothers, to only talk badly about Caesar and his leadership. The two get in an argument about how Caesar is a lousy ruler. Cassius feels Caesar needs to be removed, while Brutus feels no need to do something about it. Later, Cassius brings up the idea of Brutus becoming leader. Brutus immediately declines and never thinks anything