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Explain how the Parts of Cassius [in Act I] and Mark Antony [in Act III should be played: (i) To Show how they react to Different Events; (ii) To show how they persuade their Different Audiences.

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Introduction

Explain how the Parts of Cassius [in Act I] and Mark Antony [in Act III should be played: (i) To Show how they react to Different Events; (ii) To show how they persuade their Different Audiences. Cassius and Mark Antony are two very different characters. Cassius is a senator and shows bitter hostility and envy towards Caesar's authority and power. This marks him as a malcontent character, which, simply means he is dissatisfied and an opponent to the existing society. In the play his emotions tend to determine his political leanings and so does not in the end achieve the success that he could. Mark Antony on the other hand is acknowledged to be a good soldier, open-handed and popular with his men. He is known to like 'the odd pint or two' and enjoys the finer things in life. He is however, underestimated by both Cassius and Brutus, as you shall see later on. Despite these differences Cassius and Antony still have things in common. They have the ability to charge emotions and persuade people to do their own bidding. They are both men of extreme talent and are able to use their skills to the best of their ability. To topple Caesar, Cassius believes that he needs the help of Brutus. Cassius knows that Brutus is a man who is at war with himself. He knows that although Brutus loves Caesar, he also loves the honour of Rome and since he is not sure of Caesar's appointment he is at that moment worried about this honour, it is in Act I Scene i that this becomes apparent. This is when Cassius sees his chance to persuade Brutus into joining his cause, which he does in Act I Scene ii. He first suggests that Brutus is distant and somewhat estranged: ...You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand... He also implies that he is someone that loves him and so, he is a friend and not an enemy. ...read more.

Middle

He then preys on Casca's belief of superstition by comparing Caesar with the storm in the air and saying that this is a warning from the God's that this will be the fate of Rome and so the gods too are telling us to stop Caesar. However, he still shows his cunning since he makes Casca decide that it is Caesar he is talking about. This is a sure sign that Casca is being easily persuaded and is taking the bait of the storm without a fight. Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man most like this dreadful night... Since Casca is already taking the bait Cassius move quickly to phase two in lines 89 - 99. I know where I will where this dagger then... He starts talking about the killing of Caesar since he knows that Casca is already on his side and so the sooner he gets down to business the better. To make sure Casca does not go into this deed half-hearted Cassius again talks about how the Gods also agree with this deed and how he will feel no guilt in killing Caesar and will also tell the world of his task. Cassius then puts the final agreement between himself and Casca in the final phase. This is between lines 103 and 115. He also uses further provocative sarcasm to persuade Casca one last time. He also comments on the terrible state of affairs and that the only way to stop this rot is to kill Caesar. He also says that he will answer for his deed when he kills Caesar and will tell people why he had to do it. Cassius is a master of persuasion. He also very cruel, in the sense that he preys on peoples weaknesses when trying to persuade them, for example Brutus's vanity and Casca's superstitious mind. He uses these weaknesses to his advantage and persuades accordingly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Everything is now set-up for phase four (lines 207 - 227, 233 - 236, 238 - 240 and 245 - 250) in which Antony covers his own back and to add fuel to the already raging fire reveals the contents of the will. In lines 207 - 208 Antony appeals to the people to have peace and appeals for them not to mutiny but he does this deliberately knowing that it will cause them to do so. He then begins to cover hi own back by saying that he is no orator as Brutus is but knows full well that he is and has already charged up the emotions of the people. Just before the citizens leave him Antony shouts for them to keep order as he reads the will. But since he has caused them to have so much emotion within themselves they hear but do not listen. They merely want to go and seek out the traitors of Rome and so they regard any gift by Caesar as a great one. Here was a Caesar! When comes such another? Here uses this last line to as a reminder to the citizens that they must avenge Caesar's death and so they exit with his body. When persuading Antony uses Sarcasm, contrasts and comparisons, rhetorical devices, questions, a variety of delivery, alliteration, repetition, emotive language, monosyllabic lines and first-hand experiences. He also uses the emotions of the people to help with his persuasion. It is an amazing thing to persuade a person but to persuade a huge mob is a different story. Although the same techniques are used they need to be implemented in such a way as to affect everybody and so that is the reason why he cannot exploit the individual weaknesses as Cassius did but instead must use our collective weaknesses. Overall, both men are skilled orators; they both plan their speeches thoroughly and execute them with quick wit. The one key thing that stands out here is that both persuade people for their personal gain and that greed is the strongest persuasion of all. ...read more.

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