Rhetoric in Julius Ceaser

Topics: Rhetoric, Roman Republic, Augustus Pages: 3 (907 words) Published: February 13, 2013
Cassius’ Persuasion
Rhetoric is the usage of words to persuade when writing or speaking. This was frequently used in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar”, specifically in act 1 scene 2 by Cassius. By using his powers of manipulation with argumentation and persuasion, Cassius then tries to convince Brutus, a fellow Roman, to join in the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Doing so, Cassius uses the rhetorical forms of pathos, logos, and the usage of rhetorical questions. One of the techniques used by Cassius is the use of pathos, or emotional appeal. Being that Caesar has grown very popular/powerful around Rome, Cassius explains that if they continue to let him rule, they’ll only succeed in becoming his slaves. Saying that, he compares Caesar to a giant, “ Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves” (Act I, Scene ii lines: 135- 138). By comparing Caesar to a giant, it emphasizes his immense power throughout Rome and under his rule they’ll find themselves to be petty men, such an unhonorable position that they might as well be dead. Cassius also plays among Brutus’ feelings towards fairness and equality. He does so by repeating Brutus’ name to Caesar’s, “Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that name ‘Caesar’? Why should that name be sounded more? Write them together yours is as fair a name; sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ‘em ‘Brutus’ will start a spirit as soon as ‘Caesar ‘” (Act I, Scene ii lines: 143-147). Brutus being a man of virtues and with an honorable ancestry, Cassius proves to him that he is just as deserving as Caesar and that Caesar shouldn’t be better than anybody, but equal. When using pathos, Cassius provokes among the morals that Brutus has to prove a point that Caesar is too powerful for his own good. The technique of logical...
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