The Power of Persuasion
Shakespeare portrayed the key theme of manipulation through several characters throughout the tragic play of Julius Caesar. By definition, the act of manipulating is to influence skillfully and often unfairly to suit ones purpose to their advantage. The characters in Julius Caesar appear loyal in order to deceive someone to their advantage. The theme of manipulation is reinforced through relations between Brutus and Cassius, Caesar and Decius, and the Roman people and Antony. They manage to find ways to change their peers’ opinions, which eventually leads to influencing their actions. Manipulation is the driving force which significantly affects the outcome of this play. An appropriate example of a manipulative character is Brutus’ friend Cassius. Cassius expresses his concern with Caesar’s developing power by pretending to be worried for Rome if Caesar is crowned King. His goal is to convince Brutus to kill Caesar, because Cassius is jealous of Caesar’s power. Cassius and the conspirators are scared to lose freedom and power if Caesar comes to be King. Meanwhile, Brutus wants nothing other than to be seen as an honorable man. Everyone identified Brutus as a faithful friend to Caesar. That is why Cassius and the conspirators wanted Brutus on their side, because that way it would appear as if killing their leader was an honorable deed to benefit all Romans. Cassius knows that he can sway Brutus with compliments and appeals to him by saying that if Brutus listens to him, then he would be doing the people of Rome a favor while appearing much more honorable. Cassius swayed Brutus by saying “And it is very much lamented, Brutus, that you have no such mirrors that will turn your hidden worthiness into your eye, that you might see your shadow, I have heard where many of the best respect in Rome (except noble Caesar), speaking of Brutus and groaning underneath this age’s yoke have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes” (1.2.55-62). Cassius’...
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