Cicero's Speeches

Topics: United States Senate, Julius Caesar, Ancient Rome Pages: 4 (1526 words) Published: April 23, 2006
In Catilinam Paper

Cicero, the masterful orator and lawyer, gave a tremendous speech against a wicked minded senator named Catiline who was planning to overthrow the government. Within the Temple of Jupiter, Cicero used many tactics to stir the senators such as reminding the senators of similar situations in the past; making them fear Catiline, connecting their situation to real life examples, and making it seem that his plans are known by everyone. With these tactics and others, Cicero effectively tries to stir the members of the senate against Catiline.

Cicero opens his speech by reminding the senators of what other high officials have done in the past. He begins with,

"What? Did not that most illustrious man, Publius Scipio, the Pontifex Maximus, in his capacity of a private citizen, put to death Tiberius Gracchus, though but slightly undermining the constitution? And shall we, who are the consuls, tolerate Catiline openly desirous to destroy the whole world with fire and slaughter?"[3]

This most powerful example illustrates the patience that Cicero has concerning Catiline's punishment. He means to say here that Tiberius Gracchus, an important private citizen, was immediately put to death by the Pontifex Maximus for only slightly breaking the law. Because of that, Cicero, a dictator, questions the senators if there is any reason that Catiline should not be killed. If a man is punished by death by the Pontifex Maximus for barely breaking the law, why should a man who desires to destroy the whole world with fire and slaughter not be killed by a dictator who is supposed to protect the government? He then explains himself when he says, "Caius Servilius Ahala with his own hand slew Spurius Maelius when plotting a revolution in the state."[3] This quote is asking the senators, "Is this not what Catiline has done? Why should he be treated any differently than our ancestors? Why not just kill him now?" With the senators now asking themselves these...
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