"Julius Caesar"

Essay by manangC+, May 2006

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"Julius Caesar" is one of Shakespeare's greatest works. It's about a

group of conspirators who kill their king, Julius, in order to be free. Antony,

opposed to the assassination, felt that he should avenge Julius's death. He

delivered a speech that convinced the Romans that the murder was unjust,

invoking their rebellion. Brutus, head of the conspiracy, also gave a good

speech, but the Romans didn't react to it. A battle erupted, and most of the

conspirators committed suicide. The styles of the two speeches were very

different from each other.

Brutus's speech was logical. It contained facts about Caesar's ambition.

He reminded the people that Caesar would have become a tyrant and would have

enslaved everyone. Brutus also explained that he didn't hate Caesar, but that

he loved Rome more. The people didn't understand, however. At one point, they

wanted to crown Brutus, who intended for everyone to be free.

Antony's speech was long and it evoked pity and other strong emotions.

He gave reasons that proved Brutus's points to be incorrect. Antony had the

people surround Julius's body so that he could point out the wounds. As Antony

identified each slice, he named the man who did it. In a sarcastic tone, Antony

repeatedly referred to these "honorable men." The Romans became enraged and

attacked Cinna, a man who they thought was a conspirator, who was actually just

a poet.

Brutus made a big mistake by letting Antony speak at Caesar's funeral.

Antony's dramatic speech won the crowd over and ultimately resulted in the

downfall of the conspiracy. The emotional style of Antony's speech was much

more effective than the rational approach used by Brutus