The play, Julius Caesar, highlights the theatricality of the public forum, most notably in Mark Anthony's speech to the plebeians, beginning "Friends, Roman, countryman..." Discuss the significance of the power of speech in its ability/inability to persuade, using relevant textual references.
A good politician, or leader, is sometimes marked not by what he believes but by what he looks and how he acts. One only has to look at Winston Churchill (some would say, a dunce) to see that a person sounds like a winner and acts like a winner, then audiences decide he probably IS a winner - some people have it and some don't and that quality is called charisma or personal magnetism. Other notable examples might be Tony Blair, President Obama and Bill Clinton ( whatever a person's political persuasions, it is hard to ignore, or not to like great speakers.) Public speaking was very important to Romans and those who had the gift were admired and listened to - they were called great orators and it says a lot that nowadaya when speaking of these great orators we think of Mark Antony. Examine the text closely and relate style, form and phrase to his background which you will also need to study closely. Can you see any examples of the qualities which make a great speech, leader, or orator? authority etc Can you see ways in which the speaker reaches out to his audience, what he calls upon them from within, how he persuades, bouys or flatters them subtley? How does he address them and what effect does this have? Are there any elements of surprise ('I come not..... ) to grab their attention? What are the hooks? Try to imagine him standing there and visualise his body language as the two things are inseparable - as mentioned earlier, it's not so much what these great orators believe, it's how they look and how they make their audience feel inside!