Rhetoric in Julius Caesar

697 Words3 Pages
Although Shakespeare is well-known for his many sonnets and plays, he is also a master of persuasion. Through his persuasion techniques, Shakespeare relies heavily on the Aristotelian rhetoric; pathos, ethos, and logos. Pathos is the appeal to emotion, ethos is the appeal to ethics, and logos is logic. Shakespeare uses these devices in some of his most famous plays, especially Julius Caesar. All through out the play Shakespeare portrays this through many speeches. Rhetorical devices are used to support the Aristotelian rhetoric through four main examples: Cassius manipulating Brutus, Caesar manipulating Rome, Brutus’ eulogy, and Antony’s emotional appeal. Ethos can be found when Cassius convinces Brutus to kill Caesar and Caesar manipulating Rome. Cassius states "I had as lief not be as live to be. In awe of such thing as I myself. I was born free as Caesar; so were you" (I,I). His argument advances with adding in ethos by slyly stating he loves freedom and despises tyranny. It is evident to the reader that Cassius is demonstrating irony through his words. Cassius is a threat to freedom by seeking the death of Caesar. Cassius also makes Brutus question his value compared to Caesar. Why is Caesar getting more power if Brutus is more knowledgable and respectable. Caesar manipulated his way into office and after winning over Rome the first time he then manipulates Rome once more into offering him the crown. "Why, there was a crown offered him: and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand" (I,II). Caesar's act was served to satisfy the citizens of Rome but he knew his power and authority was limitless. Rome will always be persuaded by Caesar because Caesar has ultimate authority. Brutus is using logos to convince Rome that the death of Caesar was for their good. Brutus is using an example of anaphora to convince the people
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