William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
This story was about both love and betrayal. Shakespeare tells of how someone can love their country enough to kill their best friend. They’d even risk destroying themselves. After the death of a tyrant, Caesar, two people (one opposing the death of Caesar and the other agreeing with it) spoke during Caesar’s funeral to reason with the people of Rome. Each trying their own method to win the crowd’s opinion.
Brutus was a friend of Caesar. He was also the leader of the conspirators that killed Caesar. Brutus spoke at the funeral to help the people understand the reasoning behind Caesar’s death. Brutus wanted Romans to feel free so they wouldn’t have to die slaves. He needed a conspiracy to show that more than one person wanted Caesar dead. Brutus said that he did love Caesar, but he loved Rome more.
Antony was also a friend of Caesar. He was ashamed of Brutus and the other conspirators.
He felt anger, remorse, and fear for the future of Rome. He felt his heart was lost and lies with Caesar. Antony explained to the people that the conspirators should die; their death would avenge Caesar’s.
Antony’s speech was more powerful than Brutus’. Instead of using reason, Antony used emotion. His anger let the Romans know how hurt they would be without Caesar. Antony teased the people with Caesar’s will. The people were anxious to hear what their deceased leader wrote down and Antony used that to his advantage.
Both speeches were believable but Antony’s was the most persuasive. The Romans were uncommitted and needed information. Brutus made the people feel free, he said “Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, then Caesar were dead, to live all free men?” (Act III Scene II, Lines 23-24). Brutus used logic to sway the people. Antony used emotion to win them back. Antony was hurt and felt that the conspirator needed to die. Antony said “Why, friends, you go do not what: wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your...