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Julius Caesar - review of Shakespeares play

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JULIUS CAESAR Julius Caesar was written in 1599 by William Shakespeare; Julius Caesar was the earliest of Shakespeare's three Roman history plays. Like Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus. The play was not published until 1623 when it appeared in the folio edition complete with the acts but no scenes. It was probably the first play performed in the Globe Theater, the playhouse that was established around that time in order to accommodate Shakespeare's increasingly successful theater company. However, the text of the play did not appear until the 1623 First Folio edition. Julius Caesar was based on true real life events around 44BC when Rome was a huge country which covered from Britain to North Africa and from Persia to Spain. As the empire grew stronger so did its enemies: Rome suffered from constant power struggle between ambitious military leaders at that time. This information adds to play which Shakespeare wrote in the play to make Julius Caesar much more powerful with a high reputation. At the beginning of Julius Caesar, Caesar is given the crown and becomes king. The upcoming conspirators see this and sense that Caesar is king which will grow to be a tyrant and exceedingly ambitious. After planning by the conspirators Caesar is shortly assassinated. Mark Antony as Caesar's best friend desires to seek revenge. At the funeral of Julius Caesar Brutus gives a speech first to explain his murder and by using certain persuasive techniques he tries to win the crowd onto his side shortly after Mark Antony also gives a speech to explain the loss he has lost and explain to the villagers that he was not a dictator and to make the scene more dramatic he uses props such as Caesars' will and his body on stage. ...read more.


In Antony speech he talks about feelings and at the same time he makes the crowd feel just like does. At the opening of Antony's speech he addresses the crowd in a polite and friendly way: "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" [Line 71] He also says: "You gentle Romans" [Line 79] By saying this he also achieves the crowd's attention. They suddenly think him as a friend. Antony also probably uses this technique to try and get the crowd to agree with him by being polite to them. We all know that Antony is an excellent speaker, but pretends he is not. "But as you know me all, a plain blunt man...for I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, action, no utterance, nor power of speech." He does this because if the citizens knew he was a good speaker they will soon come to realize that he is using his communication power to manipulate them into something that is not true. If a good speaker came up, the crowd would eventually become to realize that he is gradually manipulating them, so he does the opposite and tells then he is a poor speaker this makes his speech more original and authentic. Apart from that convincing method he also uses repetition too. You may notice that he uses the phrase 'honorable' many times he has a reason of doing this: "Yet Brutus is an honorable man" [Line 97] Antony is changing the meaning of the word 'honorable' I use it many times all the way through his talk to the citizens. ...read more.


In the end however, Anthony did win the citizens, but it may have not been this case if Brutus had spoke last. By Anthony speaking last he contributed a great deal in helping him by clarifying the points that Brutus had said about Caesar. In my opinion it was not really a fair speech, because Anthony has skill which he is that he can speak very well to the people but he obviously hides it by saying he is a person with no strength to stand up and speak . He uses much more emotive words where as Brutus speaks balanced sentences which do not have much of an effect. As for Brutus he is that sort of person who can't speak to the public very well, his persuading speaking is not of the standard of Anthony's. Overall Anthony is the better speaker with all the techniques of persuasion. This is the reason why Brutus fails to win the crowd onto his side. It also because Brutus spoke in prose, whereas Antony spoke in blank-verse- which ended up being more effective towards the crowd. This play also has contemporary relevance of today; Tony Blair for example uses his power of speech to persuade the citizens on whom and why to vote for him. If it wasn't for his way of talking he may not win the elections. Julius Caesar is very similar to this because, Antony and Brutus are like two politicians who want the crowd to believe them, and to win this verbal battle, is to be able to speak properly with effective words and sentences. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jamal Sipple English, Shakespeare EN2/LIT] Al-Hijrah School Centre No. 20004 Candidate No. 1 ...read more.

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