Books and Movies Reviews

Julius Ceasar

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Decius Brutus and
Mark Antony, both Roman Senators, eulogize Julius Caesar,
each using a different technique and approach. Brutus, in a
somewhat arrogant, to the point, eulogy, attempts to sway
the people. He justifies conspiring against Caesar by stating
that Caesar’s ambition would have hurt Rome. However, in
Antony’s eulogy, he focuses on Caesar’s positive traits, and
cunningly disproves Brutus’ justification for killing Caesar.
The fickle Romans waver between leaders, responding
emotionally, rather than intellectually, to the orators. Brutus
seeks to explain why he conspired against Caesar. He
begins his speech with “Romans, countrymen …”, appealing
to their consciousness as citizens of Rome, who, he later
says, will benefit as freeman with Caesar’s death. This shows
that Brutus knows how to lure the crowd, appealing to their
better judgement as Romans. He declares that he is an
honorable man, and tells them that he will let them judge the
validity of his claims. That is, he will allow the truth to speak
for itself. This encourages the crowd to believe him, as an
honorable man. He says that he wants them to know the
facts; “Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses
that you may the better judge.” Sharing information with the
people is flattering and it almost guarantees acceptance. He
gets their sympathy by saying that he loved Caesar, daring
the people to find anyone who loved Caesar more. Brutus
declares that he never wronged Caesar, that he cried for
Caesar’s love, was happy for his greatness, honored him for
his courage, but had to kill him because of Caesar’s
ambition. He says that the reason for killing Caesar was his
great love for Rome. He justifies his actions by saying that he
loved Caesar but, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I
loved Rome more.” He then asks rhetorically if the people
would want to live their l…


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