Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar presents conflicting perspectives of Julius Caesar’s death. Shakespeare employs a variety of dramatic and language techniques to enhance the contrasting views of the assassination. Similarly President Bush’s Address at the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 and the article War is not a solution for Terrorism by Howard Zinn, deals with differing views of US occupation in Iraq.
Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar clearly presents conflicting perspectives of the assassination of Caesar, a powerful and respected leader, viewed by the conspirators as overly ambitious, but by Marc Antony as a loyal servant of Rome. Brutus and the conspirators believe that Caesar’s death is necessary in retaining democracy, whereas Antony regards the act as brutal murder. Shakespeare positions the audience to view the assassination in negative aspect, through Antony’s passionate eulogy, as compared to Brutus’ austere speech. This is understandable, as given Shakespeare’s Elizabethan context, where the removal of a legitimate leader would be viewed as treason. Shakespeare presents the internal conflict that occurs in Brutus when he contemplates the assassination. He tries to rationalise his decisions through the balance of the language, weighing the arguments of the situation. “Th’ abuse of greatness...disjoins remorse from power. And to speak truth of Caesar, I have not known when his affections swayed more than his reasons.” Brutus’ soliloquy is stern as he presents a logical and justified reason for killing Caesar and this becomes his main argument as he presents to the crowd. Brutus’ funeral speech is a short piece of prose, pragmatically justifying his and the conspirators’ actions. The speech is succinct and balanced stating “But as he [Caesar] was ambitious, I slew him.” Brutus’ lack of emotions reinforces that the assassination was purely for the greater good and not for personal profit. “There is tears for his love, joy for his fortunes and death for his...
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