Theme in Shakepeare's Julius Caesar

By: Ella Cutler

Julius Caesar Journal

William Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar attempts to show the reader the power of manipulation by using conflict and rhetorical devices. In the tragedy, Antony says, “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause. What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?” (Act III sc. ii, 107-117). In this quote Antony is manipulating the people by telling them to reflect on their own past mistakes instead of suggesting to people what to think, he lets them reflect on their past. This is also a rhetorical move because he talks to the people and they come to a conclusion about what he said without realizing it. Antony says, “You are not wood, you are not stones, but men. And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar, It will inflame you; it will make you mad.” (Act III sc. ii, 152-158). This quote is a major example of rhetoric because we can tell that Antony is foreshadowing a big event happening, and he is telling the people this to taunt them and deceive them.