Evaluation of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Persuasion is a part of every-one’s life, but how we all use persuasive techniques in the end determines if our persuasion is successful. For example there are a lot of characters in the play Julius Caesar that try to persuade someone one way or the other. Yet not all these character’s are successful, Brutus, for instance, in his speech to the people of Rome at Caesar’s funeral, was not successful in persuading the people to stay on his side.
You can see this through his actions and demeanor when he is talking down to the people, through his use of emotional appeal, logical appeal, and lastly he leaves after delivering his speech. First Brutus’s speech was not successful because Brutus talked down to the people in stead of treating them as his equals. This caused the people to feel as if he thought of himself as being of higher rank for example in Act 3, Scene 2, Brutus’s whole speech is written in free verse and doesn’t have any meter. For example in Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 2-8 when Brutus starts his speech and says, “Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.Cassius, go you into the other street, And part the numbers.Those that will hear me speak, let ’em stay here; Those that will follow Cassius, go with him; And public reasons shall be rendered Of Caesar’s death.
This technique among many others caused Brutus to be unsuccessful and therefore he was not keep the people of Rome on his side.” He continues the rest of his speech in the same manner, talking down to the people and making them seem like they are less intelligent. This is one of the main reasons that Brutus was not successful in persuading the people Rome. Secondly his speech was not effective because of his use of emotional appeal. Through this he convinces the people that if they defend Caesar that they are some how bad people are and that they don’t care for their country.
For example in Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 30-35 when Brutus says, “if anyone speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.” Here he is creating an atmosphere around the people that shouts, I know what I did is wrong but you can’t disagree with me. Which makes the people not want to be on his side.
Thirdly I think Brutus’s speech was not successful because He uses exaggeration to try to help get the people to see things his way. Instead he just showed the people that he didn’t have the real facts to back up his actions so therefore he had to exaggerate to make his point. For example in his speech Act 3, Scene 2, lines 24-26 when Brutus says, “Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?” When he says this he is not literally meaning that the people of Rome would have been slaves if Caesar wasn’t dead but he is only just trying to stretch the fact that it might not have been good if Caesar had total power. His actions here again give the people an idea that they should not side with Brutus on this matter. Fourth, Brutus was not successful in persuading the People of Rome was because he left right after he gave his speech.
Antony wen up and gave his speech right after Brutus and since Brutus left he wasn’t able to monitor what Mark Antony was saying and so that is where his major downfall was. By leaving Antony by himself he was able to persuade the crowd much easier and much more effectively to his side. For example During Brutus’s speech the people were all on his side and thought he was the greatest, but after he left and Antony went up there they immediately changed to his side as you can see from Act3, Scene 2, line 121-122 when a Citizen of Rome says, “If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong.” Here this Citizen is saying that Antony is making allot of sense and that they should follow his example. This was the major fault of Brutus’s persuasion. To conclude I think that Mark Antony’s persuasion and techniques were much more effective than that of Brutus’s because of how Brutus talked down to the people, he accused any person who wants to defend Caesar as being rude and vile, he also told them that things would have gotten much worse if Caesar took the thrown, and lastly he leaves after delivering his speech.
All of Brutus’s actions in the end added to his persuasion not being successful. One way to make sure that your persuasion is almost always effective is to know your audience and their weaknesses before you try to change their mind about something.