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Marcus Brutus

Political Rhetoric and the Masses

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Brutus’s tour de force of interwoven rhetorical devices in Julius Caesar (3.2.14) sways the crowd away from their anger at the assassins to cheering them. This speech, however, is outdone by Mark Antony’s masterpiece of manipulation (3.2.82), which whiplashes the crowd back to outrage and riot. But, in fact, Brutus had failed in his speech even before Mark Antony opened his mouth.
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Video: Romans, countrymen, and lovers

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James Mason as Brutus in the 1953 film of  Julius Caesar directed by Joseph Mankiewicz.


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Brutus, I do observe you now of late

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Cassius
Brutus, I do observe you now of late;
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have.
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
Brutus
Cassius,
Be not deceiv’d. If I have veil’d my look,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 37

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That you do love me, I am nothing jealous

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Brutus
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim.
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter.Isocolon
For this present,
I would not (so with love I might entreat you)
Be any further mov’d. What you have said
I will consider;

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 171

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It must be by his death

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It must be by his death; and for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown’d:
How that might change his nature, there’s the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
And then I grant we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.

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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 10

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Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar

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Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.Simile

The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council;Metaphor & Personification
and the state of a man,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 64

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They are the faction

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They are the faction. O Conspiracy,
Sham’st thou to show thy dang’rous brow by night,
When evils are most free?Apostrophe
O then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enoughMetaphor
To mask thy monstrous visage?Personification Seek none, Conspiracy!Apostrophe
Hide it in smiles and affability;
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 84

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And let us swear our resolution

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Cassius
And let us swear our resolution.
Marcus Brutus
No, not an oath!Anapodoton If not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuseIsocolon

If these be motives weakAnastrophe, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 124

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But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?

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Cassius
But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
Casca
Let us not leave him out.
Cinna
No, by no means.
Metellus Cimber
O, let us have him, for his silver hairsSynecdoche
Will purchase us a good opinion,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 152

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Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter

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Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter,
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.Alliteration & Metaphor
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,Alliteration
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep’st so sound.Alliteration
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 248

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Portia! What mean you? Wherefore rise you now?

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Brutus
Portia! What mean you? Wherefore rise you now?Hyperbaton & Pysma
It is not for your health thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
Portia
Nor for yours neither.Anapodoton You’ve ungently, Brutus,
Stole from my bed. And yesternight at supper
You suddenly arose and walked about,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 254

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Connected Notes:
Wives and Troubled Husbands

Kneel not, gentle Portia

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Brutus
Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Portia
I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.Antanaclesis

Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort or limitation,
To keep with you at meals,

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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 300

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