Power of Rhetoric

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Augustus Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: May 22, 2012
In the play “Julius Caesar” there is considerable overlapping of rhetoric and power. In the play we find a somewhat large number of situations when the power of rhetoric is used to shape the entire lives of characters, and redirect the plot of the entire story. Shakespeare puts tremendous accents on the power to sway large populations with just a few words. While there are many other forms of power in this play rhetoric seems to be the most powerful. Rhetoric in “Julius Caesar” can be defined using four main points of analysis, first being the role of Caesar compared with rhetoric to establish the theme of the play, second the way the power of speech actually lead to Caesar’s downfall, third how the mastery of words caused the power struggle in Rome, and finally, how the power of speech lead to the fall of the conspirators.

When looking at how Caesars gained his absolute power, you quickly find the link between this power and his absolute power over words. So now we have discovered that the key to Caesar’s power is his power over words, next need to discover what Caesar actually did with this power. so when looking at the first scene we quickly realize that Caesar has turned the masses to his side and has complete obedience of the populous, except a few opposers that Caesar will quickly deal with. In scene one we find out that Flavus and Marrulus are against Caesar’s power, when they start to ask the populous why they were out side they quickly find Caesar is in power and become angry “What, know you not, Being mechanical, you ought not walk Upon a labouring day without the sign Of your profession?” (I.1.2–5). After his lengthy discussion with the cobble he finds Caesar in control and is very angry, but because Caesar has the complete obedience of the roman army these few resistors were taken care of. So now we see that Caesar’s power over words has allowed him complete power over his people

In the second scene after Caesar has left Cassius convinces Brutus...
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