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in Shakespeare Cassius is represented as a man of true republican spirit, whose passionate temper and real or fancied injuries made him feel a strong personal hatred against the great subverter of Roman republicanism. Had he been actuated by no higher motives than malice and envy, he would neither have won the devotion of his followers, who were faithful to death, nor the friendship of Brutus. Brutus is contrasted not only with his friend Cassius, but also with his enemy Antony. The main point of contrast is very plain: Antony is a dissolute sensualist, while Brutus is an austere moralist, distinguished by his strict life. Brutus is narrow-minded; Antony is susceptible to every kind of beauty, even to the beauty of virtue to which he himself makes no pretence. Thus it is that, while Brutus wrongly supposes that Antony being a lover of sports and pleasure is a person who need not be seriously considered as a possible adversary (II. i. 185– 189), Antony can appreciate the nobility of Brutus's character, and give an eloquent testimony to the purity of his motives (v. v. 68–75). His aesthetic susceptibility is so strong that he thoroughly appreciates the sublimity of the spectacle presented by the conspirators standing with their bloody swords over the body of their mighty victim, whom he sees lying as an offering to Nemesis at the foot of Pompey's statue. At the same time he is so keenly alive to all means of furthering his ambitious projects, that the admiration he expresses for the scene before him is intended to disarm the hostility and suspicions of the conspirators, just as he afterwards finds in his friendship for the dead friend, to whom he was really devotedly attached, a means to discomfit his political adversaries and raise himself to the highest position of power in Rome. The contrast between his political dexterity and the simplicity of Brutus, between his wealth of imagination and emotional susceptibility and Brutus's cold and rational temperament, is brought out most plainly in the speeches of the two men. The difference is in the first place plainly indicated by the fact that the speech of Brutus is in prose and that of Antony is in verse. The evenly-balanced sentences of Brutus express his calm confidence in himself and in the righteousness of his cause, but do not to any great extent move his audience. He makes an appeal, which is not a very strong appeal, to their reasoning powers, and his drift is so entirely incomprehensible to them, that they are disposed to reward him for his polite deference to their opinions by exalting him to the place left vacant by Caesar's death. His great fault as an orator is that he entirely fails to adapt his speech to his hearers. He speaks to the degraded mob as if they were patriotic Romans full of republican ardour, and as enlightened as the citizens of Plato's republic. Antony's procedure is very different. He knows well that to give reasons to an excited mob is to cast pearls before swine. He is evidently making an ironical reference to Brutus's folly, when he tells his hearers that the wise and honourable conspirators will no doubt with reasons answer them (III. ii. 222), but for himself he appeals to their feelings. In accordance with the principle frequently insisted upon by Cicero, that the orator who wishes to move his audience must himself manifest the feelings he wishes to excite, we find him in his speech giving the loose to his

own emotional nature, and depicting his grief, anger, and affection in the rich flow of his Asiatic eloquence. He also applies with great effect the well-known principle expressed in Horace's lines:

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem
Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus,

when he emphasises his remarks by pointing to the rents in Cæsar's garment and suddenly tearing the robe away and revealing the mangled body of Cæsar (111. ii. 203, 204). Thus, although Shakespeare had probably never read in the original or in translations any of Cicero's oratorical treatises, he happens to attribute to his Antony the same magnetic influence of real passion felt by the speaker and transmitted to the audience, and the same overpowering appeal to pity and indignation by tearing away the robe and displaying the wounds of the subject of his eulogy, as were employed with such effect on a similar occasion by his grandfather, the famous orator, who is represented by Cicero (De Oratore, II. xlvii.) as saying to Crassus : “Quem enim ego consulem fuisse, imperatorem ornatum a senatu, ovantem in Capitolium ascendisse meminissem, hunc cum afflictum, debilitatum, moerentem, in summum discrimen adductum viderem, non prius sum conatus misericordiam aliis commovere, quam misericordia sum ipse captus. Sensi equidem tum magnopere moveri judices, cum excitavi moestum et sordidatum senem, et cum ista feci, quæ tu,

1 Plutarch says that "he used a manner of phrase in his speech called Asiatic, which carried the best grace and estimation at that time, and was much like to his manners and life : for it was full of ostentation, foolish bravery, and vain ambition."

Crasse, laudas, non arte, de qua quid loquar nescio, sed motu magno animi ac dolore, ut discinderem tunicam, ut cicatrices ostenderem.” Another device employed in the speech reminds us of the artifices of Iago. Antony, knowing that his hearers are in such a state of mind that they will not listen to reason, suggests that possibly, although he does not know it, some satisfactory justification may be given of the assassination (III. ii. 216–222), and exasperates them further by making a show of opposition to their anger, just as Iago, when he has sown the seed of suspicion in Othello's mind, raises him to a more violent pitch of anger against Desdemona by seeming to argue against his jealousy," and urging him to control his temper. He also, like Iago, conceals his cleverness and cunning under the garb of blunt honesty (III. ii. 225). This affectation of bluntness and straightforwardness is in accordance with the principle followed by Pericles and enunciated by Whateley, that the orator should depreciate his own powers of persuasion, “since whatever is attributed to the eloquence of the speaker is so much deducted from the strength of his cause.” In fact, a large number of the most effective methods of persuasion that can be derived from the art of rhetoric and from knowledge of human nature may be found exemplified in this famous masterpiece of Shakespearian oratory. The personality of Casca has a peculiar interest, inasmuch as his is the only character in the play entirely evolved out of the poet's own consciousness. His name is well known in history as that of the conspirator who * See Othello, iii. iii. 432 : “She may be honest yet.”

struck the first blow. Shakespeare introduces him as the narrator of what took place at the Lupercalia, and, as it is his object at this portion of the play to let us see Caesar in the light in which he appeared to his detractors, he endows Casca with a coarse kind of cynical humour. In the third scene he is utilised again as the narrator of the prodigies that foretold Caesar's death. Here the signs and wonders that he has seen have frightened him out of his cynicism, and he is contrasted with Cicero, whose intellectual scepticism prevents him from being deeply impressed by the disturbed sky. In his conversation he is distinguished from his associates by his rude words and demeanour like that of

some fellow
Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb
Quite from his nature ; he cannot flatter, he,
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth,

and yet in the presence of Caesar at the Lupercalia it is he who leads the chorus of obsequious adulation (I. ii. I—I 3). In the meeting of the conspirators he shows again the want of constancy in his character, by first supporting the proposal of Cassius to invite the adhesion of Cicero, and then immediately after going round to the opposite opinion of Brutus. Casca plays a prominent part in the beginning of the play, but, after he has carried out the dramatic purpose for which he was intended, he disappears somewhat suddenly from the action, although Plutarch informs us that he was present at the battle of Philippi, where he distinguished himself by his cruelty. The paucity and unimportance of the female char

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