Two Julius Caesar Speaches
Losing a loved one no matter the relation is always rough on a person. Whether be a grandparent, or a close friend, their absence affects us in some way. Death is no new concept and has been something philosophers have pondered since the beginning of time and many have created their own theories about what happens after death to coupe with trauma. But in the end its how we coupe with this sudden loss that truly tests our morals. All humans are bound to be caressed by the warm touch of death, its inevitable, not even great leaders can stop this inevitable flower from blooming. But sometimes this flower is forced into blooming and there are many ways of going about this like a car crash or even premeditated murder sometimes called an assassination. This can happen to anyone but what would happen if this were to happen to a powerful leader during their time of guidance, how do you deal with the people to make sure a revolution doesn’t break out or break out in your favor.
This is exactly what is shown to happen in the third act of a Shakespearean play aptly titled “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” where a group conspired to assassinate the then leader of Rome, Julius Caesar. The group of people known as the conspirators composed of Caesar’s best friend; Brutus and other senators of the state. Brutus known to be a noble man and would never act out of jealousy stated by many people including himself and by Mark Antony, a future leader of Rome. So when the act of assassination finally did occur, Brutus took it upon himself to speak to the people of Rome, in his speech he speaks of his love for Caesar, and that he weeps for the loss of his best friend and how he killed him not because he didn’t love him, but because his love for Rome outweighs his love for Caesar. Ultimately the crowd of people come to an understanding of why Caesar was assassinated and come to an agreement that the death of their leader was a good thing for as in the words of Brutus; “Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?”[1398-1399] Meaning would the people rather Caesar live and the people of Rome die as slaves, or for Caesar to die and everyone live free.
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On the same end of the stick as the people of Rome, the aforementioned Mark Antony has a turn to speak about Caesar but instead of the rehearsed speech that Brutus gave, Mark Antony gave a raw unfiltered speech about how great of a leader Caesar was. Although not much of a formal speech, the grief that Mark Antony expressed over Caesars death was enough to shift the mood of the crowd. At one point Mark Antony breaks down crying which eats at the crowds decision of the praiseworthy assassination of Caesar. Mark Antony had mentioned that Caesar had written a will and after refusing to read it a number of times, Mark Antony showed the crowd the wounds of Caesar as he finally read aloud his will. In Caesars will, he states that he would be giving a piece of his fortune to every man in Rome and that his private gardens be opened up to the public. With this all said and after Mark Antony has “pleaded” the crowd against mutiny, the crowd comes to side on mutiny against the conspirators.
Ultimately, at the end of the play because of Mark Antony’s speech to the crowd. He is able to amass an army and drive the conspirators into a corner which inevitably compels Brutus and Cassius to commit suicide, going out on their own terms before fate can reach them. Because Mark Antony had the ability to really make a connection with his audience, he was able to take over an entire country and change the government they knew it as forever. To conclude I’d like to point out how both Brutus and Mark Antony had the same vantage point to rally the people of Rome, if Brutus had more pathos to his speech would things have maybe ended differently? In the end its all up to the eye of the beholder, but what is known is thanks to Mark Antony’s speech Rome was forever changed.