Creation of a Conspiracy
Cassius, brains of the whole conspiracy in the assassination of Julius Caesar, couldn’t have done anything without Brutus. Without Brutus, the killing would have been perceived much differently, rather than being a political assassination. His knowledge of his audience, multiple logical appeals, faulty reasoning, and emotional appeals allowed Cassius to be successful in persuading Marcus Brutus into the conspiracy.
First, by knowing his audience, Cassius was able to hook Brutus into the conspiracy. By his flattery, he was able to draw Brutus into his plan to kill Caesar. Cassius told Brutus, “Brutus, I do observe you now of late;/ I have not from your eyes that gentleness/ And show of love as I was wont to have” (1.2.32-34). Cassius was able to flatter Brutus by telling him he looks up to him. So with Cassius’s knowledge of his audience, he was able to flatter Brutus which aided in his persuasion.
Second, through emotional appeals, Cassius was able to trick Brutus to join the conspiracy. He wrote many letters in different hands to convince Brutus that the people of Rome want a more honorable leader. “I will this night / In several hands, in at his window throw, / As if they came from several citizens, / Writings all tending to the great opinion” (1. 2.315-318). In doing so Brutus was deceived into joining the conspiracy to rid the world of Julius Caesar. With the lie Cassius had given to Brutus, his mind thought he was doing something for the people of Rome. For Brutus, the assassination would be for honor rather than hate. Through emotional appeals, Cassius was able to trick Brutus to be part of the conspiracy.
Thirdly, Cassius persuaded Brutus to complete the conspiracy by using faulty reasoning to make the conspirators appear noble. He told Brutus that Caesar was a tyrant that saw the people as pawns and not regular men and women. “Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world / Like a Colossus, and we petty men / Walk under his huge legs and peep about / To find ourselves dishonorable graves.” (1.2.135-138). From this Cassius explained to Brutus that Caesar would sacrifice every man for a worthless cause. By using faulty reasoning, Cassius was able to make Caesar appear to be a tyrant to the people of Rome.
Additionally, Cassius also explained to Brutus that Caesar was a man like everyone else, using this logical appeal to persuade him to join the conspiracy. “I was born free as Caesar; so were you: / We both have fed as well, and we both / Endure the winter’s cold as well as he” (1.2. 97-99). Cassius was making the point to Brutus that Caesar was an ordinary man, like everyone else. He was not some kind of god as Caesar said he was, so he would not be immortal like a real god. By using logical appeal persuasion Cassius was able to explain to Brutus that Caesar was an ordinary man like everyone else.
Another instance where Cassius used logical appeals to persuade Brutus was by telling the story when Caesar almost drowned to prove that Caesar was weak. Caesar challenged Cassius to swim in stormy waters. Cassius accepted the challenge and they both entered the water. “The torrent roared, and we did buffet it / With lusty sinews, throwing it aside / And stemming it with hearts of controversy. / But ere we could arrive the point proposed, / Caesar cried “Help me, Cassius, or I sink!” (1. 2.107-111). Caesar couldn’t swim in the rough water and was crying for help. Cassius was able to handle the rough waters while Caesar had to be rescued. By using logical appeals, Cassius was able to prove to Brutus that Caesar was weak giving yet another reason why Brutus should join the conspiracy.
Finally, Cassius persuaded Brutus by using the logical appeal that Rome could have produced more than one leader. “That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed! / Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods! / When went there by an age, since the great flood ,/ But it was famed with more than one man?” (1. 2.150-153). Cassius explained to Brutus, Rome used to produce leaders left and right, and why can't it now? This allowed Cassius to persuade Brutus using a logical appeal that Rome would produce another leader.
Cassius successfully persuaded Brutus into the conspiracy because of his knowledge of his audience, emotional appeals, faulty reasoning, and many logical appeals. With his knowledge of His audience and being able to flatter Brutus. His ability to use different logical appeals by saying Caesar was a man like everyone else, a weakling, and that Rome could produce many leaders. Using emotional appeals to make Brutus believe the people of Rome prefer him over Caesar. As well as faulty reasoning to make the conspiracy look noble. Using all these techniques allowed Cassius to persuade Brutus into the conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Elements of Literature Fourth Course with Readings in World Literature. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2000. 775-877. Print.
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