Julius Caesar, (Acts 3-5) Caesar is killed by conspirators in the beginning of Act 3 with the famous line “Et tu, Brutè?—Then fall, Caesar” (Act 3, scene 1, 85). But this does not end the machinations for his power. He has named a successor, but it is not certain who will actually take Caesar’s place until the end of the play. a. In Act 3, scene 2, Brutus offers a eulogy of sorts for Caesar while explaining his own actions. Brutus has also given Marc Antony permission to speak at the funeral (against the advice of Cassius). Compare the speeches of Brutus and Antony and explain why Antony’s was more persuasive. (Charlton Heston Mark Antony speech “Julius Caesar” (1970) uploaded on YouTube by Arik Elman on 02/25/2013 b. What happens in Acts 4-5 as a result of Antony’s speech, both short and long term? There’s a lot to cover here—choose one or two significant consequences from each act and explain why they are important. c. Why is a facility with language so important for leaders? We know what Brutus has done is not ethical—Antony’s ironic repetition of the phrase “And Brutus is an honorable man” drives that home. What is Antony hoping to accomplish with his incendiary speech about Caesar (and Brutus)? Is this an example of ethical leadership? Is that even possible given the circumstances? Explain. Consider: It is worth noting that historically, Caesar’s successor simply became the dictator or emperor the conspirators said they wanted to avoid. Most of those who collaborated to kill Caesar were dead in battle or by their own hands within a few years of the deed. A poet with the same last name as one of the conspirators was murdered though he had nothing to do with the killing, and Portia, Brutus’ wife, committed suicide, some say by swallowing hot coals. So was it worth it? Might there have been a better way to handle their concerns about the power Caesar wielded? Or are such struggles over power fated to turn violent?
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