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Free Julius Caesar Essays: Expediency vs. Ideology

Expediency vs. Ideology in Julius Caesar

Expediency is the concept of doing something fitting, practical, useful, and advisable. It is the suitable means to accomplish an end. Ideology is the body of beliefs or ideas of any person or group. These two words, if put together, clash. It is a battle between what is really best between what one thinks and what needs to be done. An excellent example of this clash is in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Was the death of Caesar something that was done pragmatically or was it an action taken because of certain convictions, an ideology?

Was Caesar’s death practical? Would it bring about positive change for Roman society? The main reason that the conspirators gave for their action was that if Caesar were crowned king, he would become a tyrant, an oppressor of the Roman people. It was done in the best interests of the Republic. Now that he was dead, Caesar could never be a tyrant and the Romans could live in freedom. His murder, therefore, was necessary. Brutus and Cassius took it upon themselves to be the operative forces to kill Caesar. These were expedient men who cared only for Rome. Or were they?

The flip side to being practical and doing what is best for others is taking action because of what one thinks needs to be done and/or actually doing it for selfish reasons. Julius Caesar’s death also can be considered an ideological decision. In I, ii, ll. 35-180, Cassius brings forth the issue that he thought Brutus could be as good a ruler as Caesar. Why does Cassius bring this up? What does he get from saying this? One might say that these were encouraging words from one friend to another. However, these words serve as a catalyst for Brutus’ plan to murder Caesar. Among the conspirators, did they have any motives behind their participation in Caesar’s murder?

Julius Caesar Essay: Marc Antony’s Power of Persuasion

Marc Antony’s Power of Persuasion in Julius Caesar

In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, although Marc Antony is allowed to make a speech at Caesar’s funeral, he must not speak ill of either the conspirators or Caesar. Antony was infuriated with Caesar’s assassination, and wants to seek revenge on his killers as well as gain power for himself in Rome’s government. He must persuade the crowd that has gathered that Caesar’s murder was unjust, and turn them against Brutus and Cassius. He tries to stir his listeners’ anger, rousing them into action and yet say nothing bad about his enemies. Marc Antony uses several persuasive devices in his speech, which allows him to successfully convince the citizens of Rome to turn against the conspirators.

The first of these devices, specific evidence, allows Antony to oppose Brutus’ explanation for the assassination and prove Caesar was a good ruler. He says, “He hath brought many captives home to Rome,/Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill” (III.ii.97-98). He continues with, “When the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept” (III.ii.100). Marc Antony uses these examples to show the crowd that Caesar cared deeply about Rome and its citizens, and to remind them of the contributions he made. Caesar risked his life to take captives, and then gave the ransom money to the public. Marc Antony says that Caesar was compassionate, he felt his citizens’ sadness and wept with them. The audience remembers what a good ruler Caesar was, and regrets that he’s gone. Brutus had told the citizens he killed Caesar because of his ambition, but Antony disproves this. He says, “You all did see that on the Lupercal/I thrice presented him a kingly crown,/Which he did thri…

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…ence to feel the opposite of what he’s saying

A. “Honorable men”

1. Tone of voice tells his feelings-sarcastic tone

1. Repetition-forget actual message

B. “No mutiny”

2. Connects to “Honorable men” (134)

3. Repetition-loses message

IV. Emotions- Appeals to citizens’ sadness, horror, then anger

A. Sadness-shows his own grief

1. (115)

B. Horror

1. Carries in Caesar’s body

2. Shows where Caesar was stabbed-(186)

C. Anger-makes conspirators seem evil

1. (235)

2. (135)

V. Props-Keep interest and appeal to grief

A. Caesar’s body

1. Appeal to audience’s emotions

2. Show personal grief

B. The will

1. Keep audience’s interest

a. (140)

b. (155)

1. Show audience how great Caesar was

VII. Conclusion-what happened after speech

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