#2 Essay, Research Paper
English II Pre-Ap/Honors
5 February 2000
In Act I, scene ii of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Cassius delivers two very important monologues. Throughout these important speeches he uses rhetorical techniques and employs an appeal to Brutus? logic to make his persuasive speech effective.
During the second monologue, Cassius uses rhetorical questions to convince Brutus that Caesar is no better than he is. One of these techniques shows up when Cassius says, ?Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that ?Caesar?? Why should that name be sounded more than yours?? (I.ii.)Cassius? questions are rhetorical because he is not expecting an answer. He asks them to make Brutus think that Caesar is not as great and he does not deserve to be in a higher position than Brutus is. Another rhetorical technique is used when Cassius explains, ?Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?? (I.ii.) In this question, Cassius is being a bit humorous. There is not a kind of food that would make Caesar ample. In a way, Cassius persuades Brutus to believe that Caesar is not a god or even more important than Brutus.
Cassius also appeals to Brutus? logic to entice him against Caesar. He uses facts to convince him that Caesar is weak. Cassius explains, ?But ere we could arrive to the point proposed, Caesar cried, ?Help me, Cassius, or I sink!?? Cassius tells Brutus how he had to rescue Caesar from a strong current in a river to make him believe that Caesar is a wimp and again, is not as powerful as everyone believes him to be. Another fact Cassius uses to appeal to Brutus? logic appears when he says, ?He had a fever when he was in Spain, and when the fit was on him I did
mark how he did shake.? Again Cassius explains that if Caesar was to be a god, then why did he get sick or even more shake? This is a great way to influence him because he uses true facts and Brutus does not really have to think about it because it is plain to see.
Cassius uses many techniques towards Brutus in an attempt to make him join him in a plot against Caesar. By using the rhetorical techniques and the logical appeal, Cassius effectively persuades Brutus.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Elements of Literature. Ed. Richard Sims. 1st. Ed. Austin: Holt, Richard, and Winston, 2000. 774-877.