Julius Caesar

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Question: ‘At the heart of representation are acts of deliberate selection and emphasis.’ Do the texts you have studied demonstrate this in relation to ‘Conflicting Perspectives’?

Through language features and forms, composers establish conflicting perspectives based on select situations. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Julius Caesar, the opposing justifications of Caesar’s death causes the Roman citizens to lose their own sense of opinion. Similarly, Rod Lurie’s film, Nothing But The Truth, portrays conflicting views on the importance of national security. Through literary language and cinematic techniques, both composers have represented conflicting perspectives which entertain the audience.

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the conspirators believed that Caesar’s downfall was necessary in order to protect Rome. This is contrasted with Antony’s view that it was purely based on self benefits . The parallelism in the quotations, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more,” and, “as he was valiant, I honour him, but, as he was ambitious, I slew him,” shows Brutus’ rationale based on national wellbeing. Repetition of, “If any, speak; for him I have offended,” is Brutus’ appeal to the plebians and the audience ; stating that he and the conspirators meant no harm in silencing Caesar. Shakespeare’s use of logos in Brutus’ oration promptly converts the public’s opinion of Caesar’s death and thus shedding the conspirators’ portrayal as murderers. This demonstrates how people’s opinions are misguided by the use of rhetoric .

Antony, on the other hand, sees the murder as an act of betrayal. As he was an admiring supporter of Caesar, it follows that Antony rectifies the public’s opinion. His repetition of the ironic statement, “Brutus is an honourable man,” subtly connotes Brutus’ underlying, evil demeanour. Before his oration, the citizens believe that, “Caesar was a tyrant,” but as Antony finishes, they claim that, “there is...
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