The Power of Persuasion The Tragedy of Julius Caesar Essay Example

In “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, we learn that Mark Antony is not the person we think he is and ends up turning the whole action point of the story with his speech at Caesar’s funeral. Antony is able to change the minds of the plebeians in many different unique ways. Antony is able to use examples pathos, ethos and logos in several different ways throughout his speech. By doing this, Antony is able to convince the plebeians to transform their current state of mind of what Brutus has just said to them, and to convince them that Caesar was not ambitious. 

Antony is able to first convince the plebeians with the use of ethos. In Antony’s speech, he states “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him/So are they all, all honorable men-- come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.” This example starts off by saying to the plebeians that he is one of them, and agrees with what Brutus has just said to them. He does this so that he doesn’t make the plebeians disregard what he has to say. Another example states “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know.” This example shows that Anthony is able to be trusted, and is easily able to convince the conspirators to switch their opinions, without actually saying that the conspirators were wrong for what they did. Both examples are able to show that Brutus was able to slowly persuade the crowd with the usage of ethos by convincing them with the fact that he is trustworthy, and not trying to dishonor the conspirators.

Without delay, Antony then goes on by using pathos in his speech to convince the plebeians further. Anthony quotes, “You all did love him once, not without cause:/And I pause till it come back to me.” Anthony shows major emotion during this part of his speech by completely stopping what he is saying to weep by where Caesar is lying. This is able to give an emotional feel to all of the plebeians. Antony additionally quotes “This was the most unkindest cut of all./Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms.” Antony states this quote whenever he is showing the crowd Caesar’s dead body, which is able to tug at all of the plebeians emotions, and make them feel terrible for ever thinking anything negative of Caesar. Both of these examples are able to show how Antony was able to incorporate the use of ethos by making the plebeians feel emotion, which is able to further convince them more.

Anthony additionally convinces the crowd with the final use of logos. Antony states, “You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice Presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And, sure, he is an honourable man.” Antony uses the example of Caesar refusing the crown to give the plebeians more reasoning to be convinced with Anthony’s reasoning as to why Caesar was not ambitious. Brutus similarly quotes, “But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar,/Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto their issues.” Antony uses this quote to not only have logic to show the crowd, but to also tease them with it.  By doing this, Antony is able to get the crowd of plebeians the urge to know what the will says, which is exactly what Antony was hoping would have happened.

In conclusion, we can see that Antony used ethos, pathos, and logos very cleverly to convince the plebeians. Brutus may have been able to convince the crowd in his speech that Caesar was ambitious, but ultimately we can see that the crowd was able to be convinced by Mark Antony that he indeed was not ambitious with his several different reasonings. Given these points, we can see that war is about to start because of the death of Caesar, which is exactly what Brutus was hoping his speech would do.



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