Character Revelation Through Uses of Rhetoric in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Topics: Rhetoric, Roman Republic, Julius Caesar Pages: 3 (1253 words) Published: February 20, 2013
Character Revelation Through Uses of Rhetoric In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Throughout various plays and pieces, rhetoric is used to persuade characters into committing to a significant action or decision. In William Shakespeare’s plays, rhetoric is used regularly by characters that plan to persuade others into doing certain actions that satisfy their own personal opinions and needs. As it can lead to many dangerous outcomes, the art of persuasion, evoked through uses of rhetoric, can be seen as a lethal weapon that has the power to cause damage and harm. Similarly, the use of rhetoric also has the power to reveal truths and identities, that have been hidden and kept secret and are only able to be discovered through the schematic initiation of persuasion. To completely persuade someone else, a character must use rhetoric to overcome one of three key decision-making factors: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, appeals to Logos, Pathos, and Ethos are effectively used to reveal character, as seen in Cassius, Antony, and Brutus respectively, throughout the play.

Cassius chooses to persuade different characters through appeals to Logos, which indicates his true qualities and aspects, and how they reflect his motifs. To appeal to Logos, one must appeal to the logical side of a person’s mentality; they must use reasoning and syllogism to persuade another person into believing that their opinion is completely logical, and is therefore the best decision to make. This can be seen in Cassius numerous times, and it establishes how he is calculating, logical, and cold. In the second scene of the first act, Cassius tells Brutus that Caesar is not the godly king the he sets himself up to be, and persuades Brutus that Caesar must be overthrown. Cassius convinces Brutus that Caesar is not fit for the thrown by using recollections of past experiences, in which Caesar can be seen as frail and impotent, to insult Caesar and...
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