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The Power of Persuasion

Uploaded by crazybowl1 on Apr 23, 2002

Honor ~n.~ A showing of merited respect; a quality gained by one whose worth brings respect or fame.

Honor is one of the main underlying themes in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a tragic play that explains, through Brutus’ conflict with himself and with other main characters, that the end does not justify the means. Throughout the play, the themes of persuasion and propaganda prove to be challenges that Brutus will have to overcome in order to continue on in his battle for the good of Rome.

In the beginning, we learn of the jealousy of Cassius, a loyal politician in Caesar’s court who is hungry for power. It is this jealousy that drives Cassius to use the power of persuasion on Brutus. He quickly convinces Brutus that Caesar has become a tyrant and that he has to be stopped for the good of Rome. Brutus soon forms a naïve decision when he said, " If it be aught toward the general good, Set honor in one eye and death i’ th’ other And I will look on both indifferently ;"(page 11, line 85) Brutus carries this idea with him throughout the play and is driven by a thought of the honor. This statement marks the beginning of an ideal that will overtake order and cause chaos in the Great Chain of Being. As the story progresses, Brutus takes on the role of the leader, and plots an assassination in which he hopes that the end will justify the means. Brutus undergoes a battle with himself in which he struggles over the question of what good he will be doing for the people of Rome. Brutus is reminded of how much of a tyrant Caesar was when Caesar said, "I could be well moved, if I were as you; If I could pray to move prayers would move me. But I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament."(page 49, line 59) As they all see what a tyrant Caesar has become, Brutus and his forces kill him.

After Caesar had been killed, Brutus addressed the people in the town square as to why his murder had taken place. Brutus uses the art of rhetoric to persuade the crowd into joining his cause. He does so when he says, "I then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my...

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Uploaded by:   crazybowl1

Date:   04/23/2002

Category:   Julius Caesar

Length:   4 pages (895 words)

Views:   1523

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