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Julius Caesar Manipulation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #7

This dream is all amiss interpreted.
It was a vision fair and fortunate.
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.
And this way have you well expounded it.
I have, when you have heard what I can say.
And know it now: the Senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
If you shall send them word you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be rendered, for someone to say
'Break up the Senate till another time,
When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.'
If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
'Lo, Caesar is afraid'?
Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this,
And reason to my love is liable. (2.2.88-109)

This is pretty brazen lying on Decius's part, but Caesar wants to hear it – he eats it up.  Decius is particularly wily – he knows Caesar will not refuse the crown again.  The suggestion of power, and Caesar's own attraction to it, is all it takes to draw Caesar out to his doom.

Quote #8

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And sure he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause.
What cause withholds you then to mourn for
O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!—Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me. [He weeps.] (3.2.107-117)

Antony doesn't suggest the people adopt his judgments; instead he masterfully suggests they think back on their own past judgments.  It's not just that Antony loved Caesar, but that the people did too.  This is a masterful rhetorical move: Antony gets the crowd to come to the conclusion he wants them to without their realizing it. Now if they go against what they used to believe, they'd seem fickle, which nobody likes.  Antony even gives them the time they'd need to reflect on their past beliefs and come to his conclusion.

Quote #9

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it.
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men.
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,
It will inflame you; it will make you mad.
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,
For if you should, O, what would come of it? (3.2.152-158)

This is the point at which Antony begins using some really questionable methods of rhetoric (the art of persuasion).  It's obvious to the reader that Antony wants a disastrous outcome, and he's inviting it by playing on the public's own willingness to be taunted and deceived by this game of peek-a-boo with a dead man's will.  For shame.

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