How does 'deception' relate to the play, "Julius Caesar"?

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eastwood32 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Deception is a theme that runs throughout Julius Caesar.

Brutus is initially deceived by Cassius to join the conspiracy.  Cassius instructs forged letters by citizens to be placed in various locations so Brutus will find them.  These forged letters were written to convince Brutus of the true dangers of Caesar and his unchecked ambition.  Brutus never finds out that these "citizens concerns" were all concoted by Cassius for the sole purpose of joining the conspiracy.

Julius Caesar is deceived into going to the Senate house despite his wife's, Calpurnia, dreams that foreshadow Caesar's death.  When Caesar bashfully tells Decius why he will not go to the Senate house, Decius deceives Caear into believing that there is another explanation for Calpurnia's nightmare.  Decius spins the nightmare into a positive dream in which Caesar would be crowned king.  After hearing Decius's version, Caesar agrees to venture out to his eventual death.

In order to get close to Caesar, the conspirators deceive Caesar into listening to a bogus concern before the Senate by having Metellus Cimber beg for his brother's exhile from Rome to be appealed.  Caught up in the deception of listening to a fake appeal, Caesar does not see the gathering conspirators as they surround him and begin to stab him.


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fishyhannah | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Mark Antony is an excellent speaker that understands the use of rhetoric. This is made very apparent in his speech during Caesar’s funeral. One of the main elements of rhetoric he intelligently used was climatic arrangement, starting out meticulously. Antony used repetition to emphasize the fact that Brutus is a noble man, knowing that if he started out talking about the immoralities, the plebeians would quickly lose interest. Not only does he affect the listeners with a pathos view on the situation, but Antony also opens up an ethos and logos opinion by providing examples of why Caesar’s death was unjust and corrupt. For example: “For Brutus, as you know was Caesar’s angel. Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!” (3.2. 193-194). With these lines, the audience is immediately wrapped in and responds in many emotional ways, ashamed of their ignorance to the scheme. In addition, Antony appealed to their emotions by saying: “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept” (3.2.100). Another key part of Antony’s use of rhetoric was his reverse psychology. He smartly implies that the will of Caesar will benefit the plebeians, but never states what is exactly written in it. In turn, because of his deviousness and excellent speaking abilities, Antony is able to achieve what he wants, an uprising against the conspirators.


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