Julius Caesar

This essay has a total of 876 words and 4 pages.

Julius Caesar





Julius Caesar



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 lives as slaves under Caesar's rule or would they prefer to live as freemen with
Caesar dead. To anyone insulted by his speech he wonders if, as Romans who love their
freedom, they could be offended or reject what he, Brutus, says. He poses the question,
"Who is here so base that would be a bondman?" He stresses the point, repeating the line,
"If any, speak, for him have I offended." "I pause for a reply.", allows them to respond
to his rhetorical questions, giving them an even greater sense that he cares about them
and their opinions. They can only respond, " None, Brutus, none." That is, none are
offended, they do not disagree or argue with his words or his actions.


Mark Antony's eulogy utilizes a different approach. He starts out by addressing the crowd
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