Essay about Honourable Me and an Ambitious Dictator

Submitted By vazqueznasier
Words: 846
Pages: 4

Honourable Murderers and an Ambitious Leader One of William Shakespeare’s most beloved works is The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. From its earliest extremities, some citizens are displeased with the Great Roman Dictator Julius Caesar. Of these citizens is a group of men, respectfully called the “Conspirators.” These men want nothing more to end Caesar’s life and his reign, in order to recover their beloved Rome. The leaders of this faction are Marcus Brutus and Caius Cassius. In Act 3 of this play, Servilius Casca, or simply Casca, was the first to attack Caesar in the Roman Capitol. At the time of his death, Caesar has one true friend, in the person of, Marcus Antonius, known as Mark Antony. Antony requests of the Conspirators that a Funeral be held for the beloved Caesar, a request that they do not decline. Antony also requests that he be able to speak at the Funeral, a request that will only be met by the opposition of Cassius. Cassius insists that Antony not speak at the Funeral; however, Brutus insists that he does. In the end, Brutus’s opinion stands. Antony is gifted with the privilege to speak after Brutus gives “the reason of our Caesar’s death.” Throughout Antony’s entire speech, he verbally detests everything that the Conspirators seek to achieve. His purpose is so apparent that the common people, to whom he was speaking, run off to burn the houses of Brutus and Cassius. It is Antony’s use of rhetoric that will ultimately lead to the destruction of Brutus and Cassius’s houses. Marc Antony uses rhetorical questions, a form of Ethos, all throughout his speech. The first of these questions was, “What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? (3.2, 101)” Before the audience has a chance to answer, Antony continues his speech. Later in the same act, Antony asks a noble, yet rhetorical, question of the people, in regards to Brutus’s claim that Caesar was ambitious, he says, “He hath brought many captives home to Rome/Whose ransom did the general coffers fill/ Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? (3.2, 86-88)” This very question is used twice, both in different ways. Several times, Antony uses the phrase “And Brutus is an honourable man. (3.2, 92)” or any variation thereof. Antony is making use of Brutus’s credibility as an “honourable man,” by making his [Brutus] claim that Caesar was ambitious of no validity. Marc Antony, according to the Aristotelian Triangle, uses an insurmountable amount of Pathos. Pathos is defined as “an appeal to the audience’s emotions.” Due to his relationship with Caesar, Marc Antony is already emotional about the situation. It is plain to see that in his speech he attempts to sway the people emotionally. One of the earliest examples of Pathos, in this speech is Antony saying, “You all did love him once, not without cause; (3.2, 100)” In Layman’s terms, Antony is reminding the people that they had once loved Caesar for a reason, a reason that they should bring back to their memories. Practically in the middle of the Play, Antony describes the stab wounds of Caesar saying, “Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:/See what a rent the envious Casca made:/Through this the well-beloved Brutus