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Braden Fallon Miss.

Orme Honors English 10 24 September 2011 Manipulation: The Art of Influence and Ability to Alter No matter how hard one tries to avoid being manipulated, it is impossible to avoid all sources such as documents, leaders and friends. Manipulation, the ability to alter the position or influence a person, occurs everywhere one goes. Throughout Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and The Life of Caesar by Plutarch, the theme of manipulation was revealed through countless instances showing both its sources and effects. Several of the characters in both accounts, for instance Brutus, Caesar, as well as the people of Rome, were manipulated one time or another, by sources such as their close friends who merely desired their ideas and plans to continue forward. Cassius, an envious and ambitious man, did not approve of what Caesar was doing as ruler and believed that he had too much power over the senate and the people. To put an end to what he considered to be conspiracy, he fabricated a plan to eradicate Caesar. He attempted to persuade Brutus, one of Caesars good friends, to join their plot, but Brutus declined. Cassius, speaking of the decision Brutus made not to unite with them, told the other conspirators in the senate, for who so firm that cannot be seduced? He wanted to manipulate Brutus into joining their cause, therefore he and the other conspirators threw letters they had written, pretending to be citizens, into Brutus window. (Shakespeare 12) When Brutus read these, he thought they were from citizens therefore was deceived into uniting with Cassius and the conspiring senators.

Little did he know that the letters were not from the citizens, but were forgeries. He only joined Cassius because he desired to give the people what they wanted. This was a prime example of manipulation through both friends and documents. Brutus' friends used letters or documents to change his position in addition to his feelings on the idea. Another fabulous example occurs when Caesar is debating whether or not he is going to proceed to the senate. One of the conspirators named Decius, who was a close friend to Caesar, manipulated him into coming to the senate by changing some of Caesars ideas slightly. At first, Caesar did not want to go to the senate because his wife Calpurnia had a dream that his statue would run with blood, which was interpreted to mean he would be killed. Decius arrived and distorted the interpretation to make it seem positive and that nothing dreadful would happen to him. One of the aspects of the dream that Decius altered to focus on positive outcomes, was his "statue spouting blood in many pipes." He changed the idea so that the blood symbolized "reviving blood," that all would use for benefit. Caesar trusted Decius explanation of the dream and exclaimed How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia! I am ashamed I did yield to them. Give me my robe, for I will go. (Shakespeare 31) Decius made his interpretation appear much more desirable than Calpurnia's and deceived Caesar. Even though it was only a miniscule change in the eyes of Caesar, little did he know it would send him to his death. After Caesar's death, Brutus brought out the body and revealed it to the people. He told the people If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. (Shakespeare 45) Brutus told the people this to manipulate into thinking that he had done this to protect Rome, because Caesar was stealing all of the authority and leaving everyone else powerless. This was

not the truth, but the people believed him because they wanted an explanation for his death. He also told them how much he loved Caesar, but that the wellbeing of the people and ability for Rome to continue growing were much more important. Brutus demonstrated his love for the people and the concern he had for their welfare. By doing this, he was able to manipulate them with much more ease because they believed in him and thought he had done what was best for them. After Brutus speech, Antony was given permission to address the people. At first he spoke in favor of Brutus and told the people I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.(Shakespeare 46) Soon he began to twist his words however, and gradually shifted his position away from Brutus. Antony said things such as I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know. and You all did love him once, not without cause: what cause withholds you then to mourn for him? (Shakespeare 47) He manipulated the people from agreeing with Brutus explanation, to searching for the conspirators and wanting to tear them to pieces (Plutarch 20) This showed the power of Antonys words to change the opinion of the people from being supportive of Brutus to despising what he and the other conspirators had done. Not only did Antonys speech change the peoples position, it turned it into the yearning for action. The people went away from the assembly and set fire to several conspirators homes. One man who was thought to be a traitor, but actually was innocent, was torn to pieces limb by limb. The people didnt want to cease until Caesars brutal death had been avenged. This example shows what effects can develop from manipulation when numerous people have been influenced toward the same cause. All the people were unified in one purpose all because of the ability for Antony to manipulate by words in speech. The theme of manipulation including its causes and effects, were portrayed throughout both accounts of Caesar's life. Casca manipulated Brutus into joining their plot to kill Caesar and

Antony manipulated the people from agreeing with Brutus to wanting to tear the conspirators to pieces. Decius, tricked Caesar into thinking he was correct and manipulated Caesar into departing to the senate to be unknowingly executed. All of these examples had substantial effects that extended until the final war between Brutus and Octavious. Not only was the ability to manipulate manifest, but also the magnitude of the results. Manipulation was revealed to be a powerful skill that, when in certain hands, can bring about drastic effects that can change lives.