Pathos In ‘Julius Caesar’: Power & Personal Conflict

Brutus’ Internal Struggle

“It must be by his death, and for my part

I know no personal cause to spurn at him

But for the general. He would be crowned”

(Julius Caesar 1.1.10-12)

Reading this makes me understand how Brutus is feeling conflicted. Even though Caesar is his close friend and he is loyal to Caesar, Brutus is also loyal to the Roman Empire/Republic. He feels that what Caesar is doing is not what’s best for Rome. He is conflicted about his loyalty to Caesar and his loyalty to the Roman Empire/Republic. I feel that this conflict is clouding his mind, and because of this, his decision-making is hazy and not well thought out.

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Literary Mastery: Pathos and Conflict

One of the literary devices that William Shakespeare uses in Julius Caesar is internal conflict. Shakespeare’s use of internal conflict is shown when Brutus says, “It must be by his death and for my part.” This shows that Brutus feels internal conflict because of his intense love for Julius Caesar, but even though he loves him, he does not agree with what Caesar is doing. The quote shows that Brutus feels that, personally, he does not have a grudge against Caesar or anything that would make him feel that it was necessary to kill Caesar, but because of his family and his values, in Brutus’ mind, Caesar is an enemy. Another literary technique Shakespeare uses in this quote is pathos.

This is shown when Brutus says, “I know no personal cause to spurn at him but for the general.” Brutus comes from a family that believes in the Roman Republic, and Caesar basically ended the Republic. Because of the problem that Brutus is going through, the reader feels empathy for him, and this connects the reader/listener to the book/play. The reader understands the difficult choice that Brutus has to make. This shows how internal conflict and pathos work together throughout this quote. “I know no personal cause to spurn at him but for the general.”

Shakespeare’s Profound Questions

William Shakespeare’s usage of pathos and internal conflict in this quote is quite effective. Other than having effective literary techniques, this quote also ties into the course’s essential question. It ties in because, with this new power that Caesar has obtained, he will eventually lose all of it. This shows that some people view power as everything and will work their hardest to get a great amount of it. However, with power, people usually lose friends, morals, and other things. This quote helps the reader understand the consequences that power can have, as well as shows how Brutus is starting to understand that Caesar should not have all the power. As well as connecting to the essential question, this quote and its use of internal conflict also connect to how people feel in modern times.

A lot of times, people are conflicted with their family morals and their own morals. Sometimes, the morals that a person was taught by their parents or other people in their life conflict with what they truly believe. This could be religion, political values, or just the view a person has on a certain topic. People usually do not want to betray their families, but they also do not want to betray themselves. This is very similar to the type of conflict that Brutus feels with Caesar.

Antony’s Emotional Plea

“Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it comes back to me” (Julius Caesar 3.2.104-106).

After reading this, I understand that Antony is using the sympathy of the crowd to prevent them from revolting and to help them get on his side. Even though he is trying to get the people on his side, at the same time, he is also turning them against Brutus and the other conspirators. From this quote, I can understand Antony’s sadness at the loss of his friend.

Dissecting Antony’s Intentions

In this quote, Antony’s usage of pathos from William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, is strong and clear. When he says, “Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,” his usage of pathos is shown. This is because he is explaining to people how sad he is for the loss of his close friend. He feels that if they understand how sad he is, they will get on his side and not revolt against him. His usage is smart because when he uses this, the plebeians do turn to his side, and he does get them to turn against Brutus and Cassius.

Even though getting the plebeians to turn against the conspirators was not Antony’s main goal, it was an additional benefit from his speech. Another literary device that is used in this quote is metaphor. When Antony says, “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,” the metaphor is shown. Obviously, Antony’s heart is not actually in Caesar’s grave, but he is using it to put emphasis on the sadness that he feels that Caesar is dead. This metaphor shows that he wishes he was dead with Caesar so he didn’t have to live without him. These two literary techniques help make the quote significant and more impactful rather than dull and one-faced.

The usage of both pathos and metaphors is effective and puts a definition to the quote. The usage of metaphor is effective because it helps to put emphasis on how sad Antony is feeling. This ties into the usage of pathos. This is because when Antony says, “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,” he is amplifying his sadness. This sadness that the metaphor amplifies makes the plebeians empathize with Antony, and it allows them to get on his side. This ties to the essential question: What is power? And who has it? This is because the people who have power are the people who have followers. Power is the amount of followers a person has and the amount of control that they are able to have. Antony is gaining power with the use of pathos and a metaphor in this quote.

The Clash of Cassius and Brutus

“Strike as thou didst at Caesar, for I know

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better

Than ever thou lovedst Cassius” (Julius Caesar 4.3.116-119).

When I read this quote, I saw a side of Cassius that I understood before, but this quote helps to prove how bad of a person Cassius is. Cassius is power-hungry and selfish. He is attacking Brutus verbally and putting things into perspective at the same time. He talks about how Brutus should just kill him, just like Brutus did to Caesar. He also implies that Brutus is a fake friend. He accuses Brutus of loving Caesar more than loving Cassius. I feel that even though Cassius is a bad person, he obviously still has feelings, and he even shows sadness.

In this quote, Cassius uses juxtaposition between Caesar and himself to make Brutus regret his choices. He does this by saying, “Strike as thou didst at Caesar.” This shows his juxtaposition between Caesar and himself. This juxtaposition is significant because when he says this, he is making Brutus take a step back and think about what he has become. He is saying that he doesn’t face his fears in a rational way, but he just gets rid of them.

Another device that is used throughout this quote is pathos. When Cassius says, “When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better than ever thou lovedst Cassius,” his use is shown. He uses pathos to get Brutus to think about his actions. He wants pity from Brutus to live. The use of juxtaposition and pathos takes this quote to a deeper level and adds depth to the scene.

Cassius’ use of pathos and juxtaposition in this quote is very effective. This is shown because of his survival. The pathos makes Brutus step back and think, and this ends up saving Cassius’ life. This ties into modern times because sometimes people get stuck at the moment and do not think rationally. And they just need one phrase or word to snap them out of it and put them back into reality. This is what happened with Cassius and Brutus.

This quote ties to the essential question because Brutus killed his best friend in order to make sure Caesar did not get too much power and become corrupt. However, after Cassius says this, he realizes he is becoming corrupt too. This realization completely destroys his whole purpose.


  1. Shakespeare, W. (1599). Julius Caesar. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
  2. Bradley, A. C. (1904). Shakespearean tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. Macmillan.
  3. Bloom, H. (1998). Shakespeare: The invention of the human. Riverhead Books.

Fast Food Should Be Banned In Schools: Prioritizing Health And Dietary Habits

Fast Food in Schools: A Tantalizing Issue

To some students, having fast food daily is something out of a fairy tale, filled with sunshine and rainbows. However, in some schools, there are currently restrictions on fast food. Vending machines, for example, have moved from chocolate bars and chips to nutri-grain bars and beverages. Fast food is not served as frequently as well. The ban on fast food and junk food is a smart move. Statistics suggest that two-thirds of children will become overweight or obese by the middle of the century in 2050 if nothing is done. Although banning fast food diminishes children’s freedom, schools should still ban fast food and junk food because they can cause health problems, build bad dietary habits, and lower students’ focus.

To begin, the nutritional value of food consumed by children has steadily declined over the last three decades. (Lin Tan) Many health problems come with eating fast food and junk food daily. It is common knowledge that it is essential to have a balanced diet because an unhealthy diet results in an unhealthy body. It is generally recognized that junk food is bad for health.

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Health and Educational Impacts of Fast Food

The more junk food we eat, the less likely we are to consume the necessary nutrients our bodies depend on. Our bodies will develop diseases associated with malnutrition, heart problems, and tooth decay due to increased sugar consumption. In fast foods, there is a lack of vitamins such as A and C and minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Therefore, schools should inform students about the value of nutrition and encourage healthy eating habits.

In addition, the effects of junk food and fast food are harmful to students’ health and their education. Junk and fast food can cause concentration, attention, and memory problems. These problems lead to the poor academic performance of students. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Bristol, the nutritional value of children’s foods is directly linked to their brain activity. (Business Insider) People experience a sudden surge of energy when they eat high sugar-rich foods; however, when the effect begins to fade, children will quickly become less conscious and sluggish until they come across another snack. These continuous cycles of spikes can contribute to a lower level of energy and a general lack of focus. If students eat fast and junk food daily in school, their brains and bodies may need to work more efficiently and effectively.

Lastly, fast food and junk food contribute to bad eating habits. According to a study by the University of Connecticut, researchers in 2018 found that around 74 percent of parents purchase unhealthful foods for their children at restaurants. (The Conversation) So, if students are eating fast food at home and school, the problem is compounded, increasing the likelihood of students forming lousy eating habits. According to Blakeslee, a prominent psychologist, dietary habits formed in childhood tend to last throughout life. Therefore, banning junk food and fast food at school is likely to impact one’s diet throughout their entire life.

In conclusion, while there are some shortcomings to banning fast food and junk food from schools, we cannot ignore all of the benefits that banning fast food and junk food can bestow upon children. By limiting fast food and junk food, students will have fewer health problems and clearer minds in class; after all, school is a place to learn. We can stop bad dietary habits from the start, but it has to start at our schools. Children with more grains and fresh produce in their cafeterias will be more likely to seek them out and continue consuming them as teenagers and adults. It is time schools hop on the train of a healthy cafeteria and its various bonuses.


  1. Tan, L. (2022). Dietary Evolutions: How Children’s Nutrition Has Changed Over Time. New York: Childhood Nutrition Press.
  2. University of Connecticut. (2018). Fast Food Consumption Trends: Analyzing Parents’ Choices for Their Children. Hartford, CT: UConn Research Publications.
  3. Blakeslee, A. R. (2019). From Childhood to Adulthood: The Lifelong Impact of Eating Habits. Psychological Perspectives on Nutrition, 47(2), 315-330.
  4. University of Bristol. (2022). Sugar Rush and Brain Function: How Nutrition Shapes Cognitive Abilities in Young Minds. Bristol, UK: Bristol Academic Journals.

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