Honor ~n.~ A showing of merited respect; a quality gained by one whose worth brings respect or fame. Honor is one of the main underlying themes in William Shakespeares Julius Caesar, a tragic play that explains, through Brutus conflict with himself and with other main characters, that the end does not justify the means. Throughout the play, the themes of persuasion and propaganda prove to be challenges that Brutus will have to overcome in order to continue on in his battle for the good of Rome. In the beginning, we learn of the jealousy of Cassius, a loyal politician in Caesars court who is hungry for power. It is this jealousy that drives Cassius to use the power of persuasion on Brutus. He quickly convinces Brutus that Caesar has become a tyrant and that he has to be stopped for the good of Rome. Brutus soon forms a nave decision when he said, ” If it be aught toward the general good, Set honor in one eye and death i th other And I will look on both indifferently ;”(page 11, line 85) Brutus carries this idea with him throughout the play and is driven by a thought of the honor.
This statement marks the beginning of an ideal that will overtake order and cause chaos in the Great Chain of Being. As the story progresses, Brutus takes on the role of the leader, and plots an assassination in which he hopes that the end will justify the means. Brutus undergoes a battle with himself in which he struggles over the question of what good he will be doing for the people of Rome. Brutus is reminded of how much of a tyrant Caesar was when Caesar said, “I could be well moved, if I were as you; If I could pray to move prayers would move me. But I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament.”(page 49, line 59) As they all see what a tyrant Caesar has become, Brutus and his forces kill him. After Caesar had been killed, Brutus addressed the people in the town square as to why his murder had taken place. Brutus uses the art of rhetoric to persuade the crowd into joining his cause. He does so when he says, “I then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?”(page 58, line 21) This is one of the most important lines in the play in the sense that Brutus had just used the crowds emotions to gain favor see how he was trying to better the country of Rome.
Brutus believes that honor is one of the most important values in life. When presented with a problem his focus is on what he considers to be honorable. Each decision he makes is based on what he believes to be admirable and right. He further believes that honor is an important value of everyone. This idealistic view of honor allowed him to only see the goodness in people. This lead to his ...
This form of rhetoric that Brutus used is another way that persuasion is evident in this play. During his speech, Antony appears carrying the dead body of Caesar. He uses this to gain the sympathy of the crowd. Antony also begins a speech; however, he uses different means to win over the crowd. Propaganda is seen throughout his speech, and he uses this to regain support for Caesar and himself. An example of this is seen when Antony says, “What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason,. Bear with me; “(page 61, line 105) After this battle of speeches between Brutus and Antony, Antony prevails and has now gained the power of the people.
The end of the play is full of conflicts. It is a time of war and battling. Brutus gets caught up in these wars and undergoes conflicts with himself, the army of Antony, and his own fellow comrades. One example of this would be the childish fight Brutus had with Cassius where Brutus and Cassius said, “Cassius: I denied you not.” “Brutus: You did” “Cassius: I did not, he was but a fool.” This childish conflict was resolved, but the battle with Antony sorrowfully could not be. Brutus, thinking that they have lost the battle, makes a decision that he should no longer be living. However, he remembers the thought of honor, one thing that he had been fighting for all along, and asks his servant Strato to give him that honor by killing him. Brutus does so when he said, “Thy life hath had some smatch of honor in it. Hold then my sword, and turn away they face, While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato”(page 100, line 46) With this, Brutus has realized that his idea of a better Rome has failed and that then the end does not justify the means.
Brutus vs. Antony Brutus and Antony both produce different tactics to sway the peoples opinions about Caesar. Both men present different points about Casaer and his rule in Rome. Brutus basis for his speech is presenting an explanation of why he planned and participated in Caesars execution. Antony uses a tactic of brainwashing by telling the crowd that he is there to bury Casaer not to praise ...
In the end, Brutus was unable to overcome the persuasion and propaganda used by Antony. Through all of the fighting and battling, Brutus cause was lost and it became a question of honor. Truly, the power gained by persuasion was corrupt. Amongst all the chaos in the play, order is regained with Octavious as king, which shows that Brutus fight was not done in vain. However, Brutus and his conspirators lost their lives, and found out the hard way that to do bad in order to achieve good is not the way to reach the goal of a better Rome..