The Prince and Julius Caesar

Intertextual perspective
Shaping one’s argument using persuasive material, particularly through the use of rhetoric, can produce an immensely passionate and desired response from the audience, which can advance towards the goals one wishes to achieve. By representing a subjective perspective, the way an audience perceives an event, situation or personality can be shaped to evolve a fervently impassioned response from the audience. Using a variety of techniques and emotive representation, the composer establishes an empathetic and compassionate response with the audience by conveying a sense of integrity and authenticity, greatly impacting their beliefs, fears and desires. These are all represented in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ and Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’.
Persuasion strikes at the audiences’ beliefs, fears and desires and rhetoric is utilized as an art of persuasion and to veil intent and impact on the perceptions of meaning. In ‘Julius Caesar’, Brutus gives his speech utilizing humility and intimacy as key concepts to persuade his audience regarding the justification of the assassination of Caesar. He highlights his reputation, as he progresses, speaking in a balanced and antithetical manner: “Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause and be silent …” Moral imperative and polemical reasoning layers his speech; the pleading tone of “believe me” and commending tone of “be silent” also appealing to the common sense of the audience, creating a set of arguments to claim his own and claim authority.
In contrast to Brutus, before Antony verbalizes his speech, he lures the attention of the audience using a ‘prop’ (Caesars body), the grotesque visual image triggering a cognitive response in the audience, further strengthening his argument by giving it a richly emotive response in the audience. Like Brutus, he uses intimacy coupled with gentle verbs to bond with his audience, as show in “friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…” His main...