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Caesar-persuasion Essay, Research Paper

#

#Kristin Ellis

Brown 1

Persuasion is a powerful tool that can easily be abused. In the tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar is a powerful dictator in Rome in the year 44 B.C. A group of men believe he is becoming too ambitious and they come up with a plot to kill him. Among the conspirators are two dear friends of Caesar, Brutus and Decius Brutus. Mark Antony is a friend of Caesar who is very upset and revengeful after his death. In this play, three men use their persuasive powers to convince others to do their will.

Brutus uses his powers of persuasion to overrule Cassius, another conspirator. After Cassius says that they should swear an oath of secrecy, Brutus argues that they shouldn’t have to because they are all trustworthy men. When the other conspirators suggest letting Cicero in on the plan, Brutus says they shouldn’t because he won’t follow a plan started by someone else. After Cassius says they should also murder Mark Antony, Brutus says Antony will be weak after Caesar dies so there is no point in killing him. All of these decisions by Brutus turn out to be bad ones but Brutus still gets what he wants by manipulating others.

Decius Brutus also has the ability to get people to follow as he says. When he fetches Caesar to go to the Senate House, Caesar says he cannot go because Calphurnia had a dream in which Romans bathed their hands in his blood. Decius gets him to go first by reinterpreting the dream. He says it signifies Caesar giving new life to Rome and reviving it. Next he tells him that the Senate plans to crown him and won’t do so if he is not there. Last, he tells him that the senators will make fun of him for listening to his wife and her silly dreams and they will believe he is afraid. Since Caesar has such a large ego, he doesn’t want anybody thinking such a thing about him. All of these things that Decius says finally convince Caesar to go to the Senate.

After his beloved friend Caesar is murdered, Mark Antony gives a speech that inspires the crowd to go to war. He mentions all the good things that Caesar has done for Rome, such as bringing many captives back, which brought a lot of ransom money, and crying for the poor. Next Antony mentions that Caesar turned down the crown three times on the day of Lupercal, which proves that he was not ambitious as Brutus says he was. The last thing he does to motivate the crowd is to tell them the emotions they should have before they have them. He tells them if they have tears, they should be prepared to cry. This ensures that they will feel sadness and want to get revenge. By being very manipulative and choosing his words very carefully, Antony stirs up a mutiny.

Three different men in this play have the ability to influence others to do whatever they want for them. Brutus persuaded Cassius to go on with the plan as he wanted, Decius gets Caesar to go to the Senate, and Antony convinces the crowd that Caesar was not ambitious. These men have the power to manipulate others and did so, although it isn’t always a good idea. Persuasion often results in bad consequences when used in the hands of untrustworthy people.


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