Power of Words

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Persuasion Pages: 1 (404 words) Published: September 4, 2006
When people want others to follow their point of view, do what they ask, or give them what they want, they normally express their desire through words. They would manipulate, persuade, or misinterpret their claim in order to gain the crowd's support. In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare paints a picture using descriptive language to emphasize how certain persuasive can influence one's thoughts and feelings, as well as how it can lead to destruction. Although the power of language is the most powerful type of authority, when it is expressed negatively it brings about harmful and unexpected consequences. In Julius Caesar, the usage of manipulation clearly demonstrates how easy it can be to win one's claim without having his or her followers realize their capriciousness of their favor. During his first conversation with Cassius, Brutus reveals his struggle between his loyalty for Caesar and his honor for Rome. Cassius responds that he too, agrees with him and declares, "I was as free as Caesar, so were you. / We both have fed as well, and we can both / Endure the winter's cold as well as he" (I.ii.99–101). Cassius's persuasion led Brutus to believe that he was fighting for good. By using what he knew Brutus wanted most, which is honor, Cassius appeals to that desire in order to seduce his friend into opposing against Caesar. Because of his strong persuasion, Cassius has blinded Brutus from recognizing his true thoughts. Therefore, when Brutus carries out the plan to kill Caesar, the whole outcome would not turn out as what he would expect. In addition, persuasion can leverage one's audience by how well it is presented. Throughout Antony's speech, he uses verbal irony and repetition to easily win over the crowd and to turn the public opinion's against the conspirators. Each time he repeats the phrases "Brutus says he was ambitious, / And Brutus is an honourable man," (III.ii.83–84) he ironically inverts its meaning by reminding the crowd all the good that Caesar had done...
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