Monday, December 3, 2007

Cassius's Persuasive Techniques

Discuss Cassius's techniques for persuading people to join the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Give examples, explain what type of persuasion he is employing, and evaluate the effectiveness of the technique.

39 comments:

Courtney B said...

I guess I will start off this discussion. I think that loaded words is a lot of the persuasive technique that Cassius uses but also a little bit of emotional(pathos). I think this because in the play Cassius say to Brutus how he is noble and how he has the virtue in him. If that was me I would be flattered. Anyone would get like a warm feeling when someone is talking so highly of you, so I am sure that his appeal worked.

kaitlyn_c said...

I definitly agree with the pathos technique, but what i also see in Cassius's ways of persuasion is repition. He keeps telling Brutus that he's so much better than Caesar over and over in so many different ways. Pathos, though, is the most prominant and probably the most effective.

law1992 said...

Cassius uses emotional appeal and even some propaganda. At first Cassius tells Casca that all the fires are occuring and the animals are changing nature because the heavens are unhappy with the way Rome is being ruled. Then he tells Casca that Caesar is like a wolf and he sees the Romans as sheep. He says that Caesar is not worthy to rule Rome. He tries to convince Casca to join his side by telling him what an honorable cause it is to free Rome from Caesar's "tyranny". Casca is convinced by Cassius's persuasion and he joins his side at the end of act 1.

Wesley Y said...

I agree mainly with the loaded words. He is constantly telling Brutus that Caesar is no better than him while also trying to make Caesar seem like a weakling. He is trying to convince Brutus that he is stronger. Cassius's story-monologue starting on page nineteen has the main goal of putting Caesar down.

dotsonj said...

i guess there are some loaded words, but i think almost all of it is emotional because the entire part is cassius talking about how caesar is not any more of a man than he or casca is. that makes casca think about it from his point of view that its not fair caesar gets to be king and we dont. now with casca on his side so he has more people to go kill caesar with. so his persuasion worked pretty well.

SarahM said...

Great start! Remember that you must use standard English. I would suggest typing it in Word first and copying and pasting.

Nancy_M said...

Although I can see the emotional technique, I am really not seeing the loaded words that courtney b brought about. Because yes, they use an extended vocabulary, but that is because Shakespeare wrote this hundreds of years ago, but I can see where that can make sense.

I would like to point out where Cassius uses a form of threat of suicide in Act I Scene III. He blatently states that if Caesar becomes king, he will put a dagger in himself. For the people that care for him, this may cause them to join the conspiracy. I see this as very striking.

Amanda H said...

Cassius also uses deception to make Brutus join their conspiracy. The last statement in Act I Scene II is an example. Cassius says that he is going to write the three letters to Brutus from other Romans to make Caesar appear to be ambitious. He is doing this out of hatred towards Caesar and his rise to power.

ColB said...

I agree with what kaitlyn said about repetition, not so much verbal repetition but i see it when Cassius sends not 1 but 3 notes to Brutus just to make sure that his point is ground into Brutus's head.

Julie Ogle said...

I agree with Amanda that it is conspiracy just because he is deceiving him trying to get him against Caesar also. It is as if he is purposely trying to turn him against Caesar.

beth w said...

To add to Julie's commentand connect back to Amanda's, I would like to say that Cassius could be using deception when he says he will kill himself if Caeser becomes king. He could use this to deceive others to take part in his plan.

Rylan B. said...

I am swinging more towards the repetition than deception. Brutus has all the facts in front of him. All Cassius is doing is trying to push him into his perspective. It's not like he is deceiving him so much as emphasizing the bad points and the questionable traits of Caesars power.

Clint B. said...

I can understand that it might seem Cassius is being deceptive in trying to persuade Brutus to join the conspirators. However, he does, as Rylan stated above, emphasize the weak charactistics of Caesar as a leader. He is not deceiving everyone by telling lies to persuade them. He is making clear the undesirable techniques of Caesar's rule. Although Cassius does not like Caesar as a whole, I think that he respects him enough to bring forth a logical dispute.

beth w said...

I disagree with Clint that Cassius respects Caesar because if he did respect him, he wouldn't be creating this conspiracy to overthrow him.

*Bri*L! said...

I agree with courtneyb and kaitlyn_c! Cassius used both pathos and repition. in a way when it was put together it gave an ear catching rymim to Brutus and he started to think that he was better than Caesar. Even though Caesar was Brutus' best friend brutus started to depise Caesar for all his acomplishments. Then Cassius took it as far to frame Ceasar for letters sent to Brutus that he didnt even write himself. i also agree with rylan b. he doesnt decieve Brutus just gives him facts but like i stated above he shouldnt of tried to make Brutus hate Ceasar buy sendin Brutus letters like that.

tiffanyb said...

I agree with everyone that said Cassius was using emotional techniques and deception. In the book in Cassius's monologue around page 39-40 he says, "That heaven hath infused them...To make them instruments of fear and warning unto some monstrous state...Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man most like this dreadful night..." In this, he is deceiving Casca and pushing him to follow their side and join against Caesar.

mchaffin said...

I aggree with Clint that Cassius is not decieving Brutus. His arguments that Caesar is not a good leader are true, but at the same time I belive that he is trying to manipulate Brutus. It is true that Caesar and Brutus were born equal, so he is not lying to Brutus. However, Cassius does sweet talk Brutus a little too much. He compliments him saying "I have not from your eyes that gentleness/and show of love as I wont to have." I think by flattering him, he uses the ethos technique. Cassius makes Brutus like him and think he is a good person, making Brutus want to believe him.

Russ C. said...

I agree with Molly that Cesaer uses the ethos tequncue to get at Brutu's emotions. He does this by telling Brutus that they were born equal as men. Cesaer, to me uses this to his advantage because he needs all the followers he can get.

RSLundy said...

I'm agreeing most with the repitition argument. After hearing something over and over again, it'll get lodged in your head. And that's what Cassius is doing here. You're a great leader, you're stronger than he, a strong man wouldn't need saving, blah and some blah. That's pretty much what Cassius is pushing on Butus in hopes that by hearing it enough, Brutus will believe it to be true.

Now Clint, I don't beleive that Cassius respects Caesar, but I have an idea that kind of follows the same path there. I think that maybe Cassius is afraid of Caesar. He obviously doesn't try to show that he's frightened of him (considering he tells Brutus about how Caesar was such a weak man. Who'd fear a pansy?), but if he wasn't afraid wouldn't he have gone up to Caesar and just owned him in the face? I think that the fact he's getting this nice little group together proves what I'm trying to say.

nhud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nhud said...

I agree with what Clint and Molly are saying about Cassius not necessarily trying to deceive Brutus. He is merely aggrandizing Caesar's flaws as a leader in order to get Brutus to believe that he would serve as the better leader, but what he is feeding Brutus aren't really all lies. Just things the public haven't seen about their leader-to-be.

Ki R. said...

Cassius uses many persuasive procedures to try to win Brutus over. Like everyone else stated, he uses emotional, loaded words (which fits along with the ethos cause it has to catch his attention), and mudslinging techniques. I also believe that Cassius mixes in the ethical technique to get Brutus’s agreement. In Act One, Scene Two, Cassius says, “Where many of the best respect in Rome…speaking of Brutus and groaning underneath this ages yoke,/Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.” Here Cassius is informing Brutus that the citizens being tormented by Caesar’s power hopes that he can see that he would be a better ruler than Caesar. Brutus will agree to anything that will aid the townspeople because after Cassius told him that he became more interested in what Cassius had to say. Then later on in Act Two, Brutus is debating with his-self whether he should over throw Caesar or not. After he receives and reads the anonymous letter he declares, “O Rome, I make thee promise,/If the redress will follow, thou receivest/thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!” In this statement, Brutus promises that he will do what it takes to help the public get out of trouble.

s_munsey said...

I agree with what Kaitlyn said.
I think that Cassius keeps telling Brutus how great he is so he will believe he would make a great, if not better, ruler than Caesar. I also agree with what Nancy said about threatening suicide. That was a very good persuasive technique used by Cassius.

SethR said...

Cassius's strategy reminds me of those commercials that say: "Tired of the common life? Get more Friday's!" He's saying that he should not be on the bandwagon and that he should rebel against Caesar. Judging off of this scenario, the only techniques that appear effective are loaded words and pathos. "You are Caesar's equal!" and others statements like that are proof Cassius is trying to butter up Brutus's libertarian side.

AbbyP said...

I agree with the pathos technique. However, I would strongly disagree with the loaded words technique. Cassius does not use words such as new or improved. I see it more as repetition because Cassius is constantly reminding Brutus he is just as good as Caesar, he could rule just as Caesar is, and so on. With Cassius applying this technique, he has a better chance at wooing Brutus into the conspiracy.

Erik D said...

I actually think that only by using repetition and emotional appeal was Cassius able to convince Brutus. Almost all of the time, from what is shown to the reader, Cassius is around Brutus, trying to persuade him. During these conversations, Cassius uses emotional appeal to flatter Brutus, saying that he is a great man and would make a better ruler than Caesar. For the final effort, Cassius used repetition, sending three letters to convince Brutus to join the conspiracy.

As for Lundy's comment that Cassius was afraid of Caesar, I completely disagree. I thought that the reason that Cassius wanted to attack in a group was because, if he just walked up and "owned Caesar in the face" people would not listen to him, classify him as a cold-blooded killer, and probably hang him. However, if he assassinated in a group, including the noble Brutus, then everyone would pay attention to their reasoning and realize that Caesar was a dictator and that murdering him was for the good of Rome.

cameron_w said...

I agree with the fact that Cassius uses loaded words to flatter Brutus and gain his support for the cause. I also agree with westley_y in that Cassius is trying to convince Brutus that he is just as good as Caesar. Both of which are shown when Cassius says, "Why should that name be sounded more than yours?/Weigh them, it is as heavy." In saying this Cassius provides proof to Brutus that he is as good as Caesar and should and could replace Caesar.

mclaiborne said...

I agree with Molly Chaffin on the fact that Cassius used ethical and logical reasoning to convince Brutus to go against Caesar. Also he(Cassius) told Brutus that he was just as good as Caesar in everyway, and that in a way is using the technique of "loaded words", trying to "butter up" Brutus to the idea of over throwing Caesar.

ALISHA D said...

I have to agree with rylan b on this one. At hte beginnning of their discussion, Brutus said he respected Caesar and din't really want to challenge him, but the mote that Cassius tells him how much better he is than Caesar the more that Brutus comes to believe him. One example of Caesar's "questionable traits" as said by rylan b is shown on line 130 in Act I Scence II when Brutus told Cassius about a time when Caesar was sick and whined like a little sick girl. This showed Brutus that he was as good as Caesar and he would eventually decide to participate in the death of Caesar. Cassius effectively utilized repitition to break down Brutus and pursuade him to challenge Caesar.

NICKm said...

I have two opinions on this matter. One side of me says that Cassius is using "loaded words" as many others have said. It seems as if he is attempting to befreind brutus with emotional pursasion.
But to be contriversial to this matter, I also beleive that Cassius is not trying to pursuade Brutus at all he is only attempting to decieve him long enough to receive help. He is making Brutus his freind but who is to say once Cassius gets what he wants and Ceaser is dead that Cassius will still be freinds with Brutus. I feel this is all manipulation(which I do not consider pursausion) and ,to an extent, this is all a result of greed/desire.

AnnaT said...

Although Cassius uses many techniques as everyone has pointed out, no one has mentioned that when Cassius is talking to Brutus about his and Caesar's name, he says "Why should that name be sounded more than/yours?/Write them together, yours is as fair a name;" This is obviously faulty cause and effect. Like Mrs. McAffry said in class the other day, just because their names are equal isn't a reason for Brutus to be king over Caesar.

Also, I see where people think that Cassius is not trying to deceive Brutus, but he obviously is the previous quote. He is not lying about something, but he is trying to be sneaky to get Brutus to conspire against Caesar with others. That is deception plain and simple.

Sam P said...

Like everyone else has stated, Cassius's persuasive technique is emotional. He uses flattery the very first time he ever tries to persuade Brutus, which I think is key. Think if you're trying to persuade your parents, what do you do first? You say "Mom, that dress looks amazing on you, did you do something with your hair?" Or your dad, "Hey dad, you've been working out haven't you?" That's one of the first natural instincts when you want something, you try to flatter the person, tell them how much better they are than someone else, you get to them using emotions.

Also with what Nancy M was saying, Cassius threatens suicide and then Casca says So can I/ So every bondman in his own hand bears/ The power to cancel his captivity. So now not only would one life be lost, but two. Although they never say that directly to Brutus, their deaths would be a reminder and they would let Brutus know that because they did not have "a noble leader", such as Brutus, their deaths resulted from him not joining their conspiracy against Caesar.

frankP said...

I agree with the loaded words argument on this one. But I also think there's some logic in his points as well. Cassius tells Brutus that "Caesar" is just a good a name as "Brutus", so why would Caesar make a better king than Brutus? I think that Cassius here is trying to flatter Brutus with logic when he says this, by presenting him with facts that make him appear equal, but in reality have nothing to do with anything. But it still counts as logic, because it appears logical to Cassius.


I also agree with Rylan's argument that Cassius is pointing out Caesar's flaws and avoiding his strengths. Cassius tells Brutus how he had to save Caesar from the Tiber river in the middle of a flood. I don't see how this is a fault on Caesar. I mean, just because he had to be saved from drowning in a river (IN the middle of a flood), this equals him being a bad leader? No, Cassius is just trying to find faults that aren't there.

abby s. said...

I agree that Cassius is using emotional appeal and repetition to persuade Brutus to join the conspiricy. He is always telling Brutus how wonderful he is and how he is just as good if not better than Caesar. He is trying to get on Brutus' good side to gain favor and trust. I also strongly agree with the previously mentioned statement that after you've heard something for so long you start to believe it. For example, at the beginning of the play when Cassius is trying to persuade Brutus he is very humble and some what reserved but as the play progresses and Cassius keeps feeding him these compliments he losses his humility and starts to take charge of the situation and become more of a leader.

Caitlin Lewis said...

I totally agree with Sam on this one. When you compliment someone, they start to believe what they say and then they are more ready to agree with you. They are more malleable than if you just straight out asked them. On the suicide comment, I know that any person would not want to know that they had something to do with 2 people ending their life, no matter how big or small the part was. No one could walk around everyday for the rest of his/her life thinking, "Man, two people, my friends, are not here anymore because of something I didnt do." Most people just couldn't handle it.

Jessica T. said...

i would say that it is emtional because he said that he is the same as Caesar so Brutus has just as much right to be king. Also he made fun of him so that he would have the motivation to be king.

Jake k. said...

I know this blog is late and for that I apologize, but I decided to post one anyway.

I really liked and understood Sam's example of trying to get something from your parents, and I do agree with the type of persuasion that Sam refers to, which is emotional. Caitlin said, “Man, two people, my friends, are not here anymore because of something I didn’t do.” “Most people just couldn't handle it.", When she was talking about the suicide comment. I understand her point, but I think there are a lot of things that we do in a lifetime that affect so many people around us. For example: I get a broken arm and I can't go in for work so then someone has to be called in to take my shift. That person could be very frustrated that they have to work on a day that they were not scheduled for. That person goes home and gets in a fight with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend and then they break up. Then the angry boyfriend/girlfriend get in a fight with their parents and the boyfriend/girlfriend's car is taken away. The boyfriend/girlfriend was supposed to drive their friend to a date so now the friend stands up his/her date, another relationship killer.

Kelsey C said...

So in all honesty I don't even know if I'm responding to the right blog, but I'll do it anyway.
This is also really late.
Sorry about that.

I feel like many of these comments are just repeating what others have said so I'm not going to lie I couldn't bring myself to read all of them. However I'm pretty sure I have nothing new to bring either, other than I agree with Nick when he says that Cassius only wants to befriend Brutus for his own benefit. I mean if he's capable of murder I'm pretty sure he won't lose sleep for lying to someone.

But if you want to go the whole persuasive techniques route, I would definitely say emotional and repetition. If it were me though, I would be incredibly suspicious of anyone who would try that hard to flatter me.

Devin_A said...

I have to agree with Kels and Nick on this one, I definitely believe that Cassius befriends Brutus for his benefit. If Cassius can get Brutus to follow him then he knows that Brutus can persuade pretty much anyone to follow them as well, it’s like the bandwagon effect. Also,Once Caesar is gone Brutus will be next in line of power, and if Cassius is close to Brutus then he can weasel his way up there too, maybe even eventually pushing Brutus out of the way.