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Julius Caesar Essay. Reminders and editing tips. Understanding your thesis.

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Julius caesar essay

Julius Caesar Essay

Reminders and editing tips


Understanding your thesis
Understanding your thesis

  • In the opening section of his funeral oration for Julius Caesar, Marc Antony quickly moves the hostile crowd from believing they are well rid of Caesar to questioning the assassination through his juxtaposition of experience versus opinion and a repetition of key words that reverses their meanings.


First check what you are arguing about
First: check what you are arguing about

  • In the opening section of his funeral oration for Julius Caesar


Next consider your main argument
Next, consider your main argument

  • Marc Antony quickly moves the hostile crowd from believing they are well rid of Caesar to questioning the assassination.

  • Note: quickly is not the same as instantly, and the people start off believing the blue and then move to the purple.


Remember
Remember

  • Step 1: evidence that counters the opinions of Brutus, the people begin to wonder if they are really well rid of Caesar.

  • Step 2: Antony’s phrases and sentence construction lead them to wonder if Brutus is really as honorable as they had believed, and the honor of Brutus is tied to the honor of the conspirators and the entire plot to kill Caesar.

  • Step 3: Antony has reversed the meaning of “honor” and “ambition” so that the people are convinced is not honorable and Caesar is not ambitious.


Organization how does antony use language to persuade
Organization – How does antony use language to persuade?

  • juxtaposition of experience versus opinion

  • -presents thought-provoking examples of experience

  • -frames his experiences as fact and those of Brutus as opinion

  • -carefully crafts sentences using conjunctions, pairing of his words with Brutus’s words, and rhetorical questions

  • repetition of key words that reverses their meanings.

  • -words that meant one thing at the beginning of his oration now mean the opposite

  • -with each repetition, look for surrounding word choice that conveys Antony’s tone – it changes through this section as the audience agrees with him more and more


For your consideration
For your consideration

  • Is Antony as honorable as Brutus? Consider his powers of manipulation through language. Can such powers be used for both “good” and “evil”?

  • When he stabs Caesar, Casca says “speak, hands, for me” eloquently summing up the conclusion to which Brutus has come: that the situation in Rome is so dire that the only solution is to resort to violence to remove Caesar. Despite his honor and reputation, Brutus is eventually destroyed. How does this allow us to explore the idea of “speaking” through violent action versus powerful language?


Be sure to edit with your checklist
Be sure to edit with your checklist

  • Don’t forget “Marc” is short for “Marcus” so you should not spell it “Mark.”

  • Double check that you are dealing with the correct portion of the play.

  • Check the guidelines for commonly made mistakes.

  • Check line number format.

  • READ YOUR PAPER OUT LOUD!


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