Manipulationand Deception in the Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Momentsafter Julius Caesar won the war against Pompey’s sons, the eventsof challenged leadership with the enemywithin began to unveil. As the playunfolds from the point where the Roman citizens had gathered tocelebrate Caesar’s glorious triumphant, it is clear that deceptionand manipulation of the mass will be the tool for his downfall. Theplay “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,”strongly demonstrates the ways politicians use suggestions andpersuasions to influence citizens for their benefit. While such actsof manipulation and deception can be wrong, it is clear thatsometimes politicians tend to tell the mass what they want to hear.Shakespeare’splay “the Tragedy of Julius Caesar” is a perfect illustration ofthe ways deception and manipulation of innocent or unsuspectingcitizens by the people in power can result in bad governance.
Oneevent of manipulation occurswhere Cassius attempt to force Brutus to join the group that wasconspiring against Caesar by suggesting that the people of Rome areclamoring for Brutus to be the leader.
Wheremany of the best respect in Rome,
Exceptimmortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus.
Andgroaning underneath this age`s yoke,
Havewished that noble Brutus had his eyes”(1.2.60-71)
Inthis context, both Cassius and Brutus had joined Caesar and thepeople of Rome at a publicplace to celebrate. It is clear that Cassius only wants Brutus tojoin the conspiracy group by both lying about the mass and suggestingthat he (Brutus) should seek leadership against Caesar. That way,Cassius was sure Brutus would believe him and join the group inbringing the leadership of Caesar down. However, this is not the onlyinstance manipulation,and deception has beenusedin the play.
Anotherinstance the power of deception and manipulation is seen is whenAntonio influences others citizens to quarrel and harass people whosupport the conspiracy group. In the text, Antonio praises Caesar toconvince and gain support from the people of Rome.
“Hehath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whoseransoms did the general coffers fill?
Didthis in Caesar seem ambitious?
Whenthat the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept
Ambitionshould be made of sterner stuff:
YetBrutus says he was ambitious,
AndBrutus is an honorable man.”(3. 2.1-8)
LikeCassius, Antonio refers to Brutus as an “honorable man” butironically mocks his (Brutus) abilities and character while at thesame questioning Caesar’s ambitions by reiterating to the citizenshis achievements. Thisisintended to reveal Caesar’s good deeds to the people by praisinghim so that the people will be convinced and support Antonio againstthe conspiracy group.
Finally,it is through lies and manipulation that facilitate the murder ofCaesar. When Caesar revealed about his wife’s daunting dream,Decius suggests that it is a revelation of “fair and fortunate”(1. 1. 84). Consequently, Caesar is convinced to appear in the senatemeeting where the rebels had planned to kill him. Clearly, if it werenot Decius’ lies and manipulation, Caesars would not have attendedthe meeting and conspirators would not have a chance to stage theirkilling objective.
Inconclusion, deception and manipulation have beenusedas strong tools in bringing down Caesar’s leadership. Evidently, itis through these tools that Antonio, Decius,and Cassius achieve their secret predetermined goals against JuliusCaesar. The text is important because it revealssimilar way these tools are used today to achieve people’s behaviorthat will favor a particular politician, media house, or business. Asa result, innocent people suffer since deception and manipulationonly yieldbad governance, unequal distribution of wealth, and poor delivery ofboth health and education services to the people.
Shakespeare,William, and Lawrence Mason. TheTragedy of Julius Caesar., 1919. Print.