A perspective is a representation of a particular event, situation or personality formulated due to varying ideologies prevalent within a particular time period. As such we see, persuasive texts endeavor to utilise the fears within our context, in order to instigate an emotive response through the use of manipulative language, which ultimately leads to the infiltration of our psyche. This is prevalent within Shakespeare’s historical tragedy Julius Caesar, the October 2001 TIME magazine article, “The Manhunt Goes Global” composed by John Cloud et al, in addition with Michael Moore’s 2004 scathing documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11.
As a result of their times of composition, we see conflicting perspectives concerning the fear of tyranny arising within these texts. This tyranny for a contemporary audience may be the rise of terrorism induced by 9/11, hence leading to dichotomous views as to the responsibility of these attacks. Through the use of rhetoric and persuasive language within the texts the composers utilise the fear of tyranny to shape the response of an internal and external audience.
Through the funeral orations, Brutus, a stoic character uses syllogism in “There is tears for his love…honour for his valor and death for his ambition” to reinforce the concern of dictatorship predominant within the Roman context of the play by compelling the Plebeians of the righteousness of the assassination. Similarly, this notion of the fear of tyranny is implied in the TIME magazine article, “The Manhunt Goes Global” .
The written medium of production as well as the form of a magazine article characterises the use of a subjective tone in order to appeal to the informed and educated audience, “In fact…that French antiterrorist officials have taken to calling the city Londonistan. ” The use of neologism ‘Londonistan’ may perhaps suggest the composer’s purpose to affirm the involvement of Al Qaeda through the deliberate manipulation of the motivations within the audience. Therefore, we see intense opinions portrayed through deductive reasoning, shaping an emotive response by utilising the motivations of the audience.
Perhaps, Shakespeare’s purpose through the use of manipulative language may be to imply the fluid nature of perspectives evoked by our underlying fears. This notion is exemplified through numbing effect on the audience created through the use of caesura in the rhetoric and form of iambic pentameter within Antony’s speech, “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff; yet Brutus says he was ambitious”. Likewise, through the magazine article “The Manhunt Goes Global” the racial tension in the educated audience of the magazine is manipulated to impose the composer’s perspective through the pragmatic use of evidence. But Bush Administration sources tell TIME that U. S authorities have acquired evidence…at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. ”The use of high modality persuades the audience to attain the perspective of the involvement of Al Qaeda. Therefore, the particular use of form and provocative rhetoric leads to the formulation of emotive responses. However, persuasive texts may ultimately aim to infiltrate our psyche, through the use of appeals that manipulate our values. Antony’s oration undermines the fear of tyranny through the use of pathos. Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through. See what a rent the envious Casca made. ” The use of an imperative ‘Look’ is used to shape the audience’s response by appealing to their sense of justice and equality. The medium of production and use of a historical play results in the use of dramatic conventions, such as stage direction as “ANTONY steps down” from the pulpit. In this instance, the cathartic effect of Shakespeare’s use of humility leads to the manipulation of the Plebeians response as a sense of equality is evoked through an opportunity to make a judgment.
Conversely, in Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 the visual medium of production and form of a documentary film utilises rationality and authenticity to appeal to the human condition by inducing a sense of credibility. Spin doctoring through the use of a cumulative series of images with Newspaper headlines “White House Approved Departure of Saudis after Sept. 11,” highlights Moore’s purpose as to persuade the American populous of the alleged connections of the Bush government to 9/11 by appealing to their sense of rationality induced by contextual disdain with the government. Moore utilises a sarcastic tone to induce a fear of oppression. Perhaps he should have read the security briefing…on August 6th 2001”, this pragmatic use of evidence and sarcasm manipulates our psyche by inducing a poignant response. The concern of dictatorship is further exemplified through the use of balanced sentences and antithetical ideas as Brutus states “As Caesar loved me…I honour him: but as he was ambitious, I slew him. ” A rationale of the assassination is proposed through the repetition of the personal pronoun as Brutus’ honour adds to the notion of integrity formulated in order to persuade the audience of the conspirator’s apparent oble cause. Similarly the notion of integrity is used by Moore, to appeal to the human condition through deductive reasoning as one such authoritarian figure FBI agent Jack Clooney states “I as an investigator would not have wanted these people [Osama Bin Laden’s family] to leave…” The use of contextual political turmoil persuades the audience to perceive 9/11 to be a political ploy resulting in the rise of terrorism. Through, these texts we see the influence of the use of reason and logic, leading to the formulation of an empathetic response due to the infiltration of our psyche.
Although, texts may use various mediums of production and textual form such as in Shakespeare’s historical tragedy Julius Caesar, Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and John Cloud et al’s magazine article “The Manhunt Goes Global”. Ultimately, the discerning power of language and appeals such as those involving equality and justice, as a consequence of the fears embedded within the composer’s context, have a cathartic effect and therefore influence emotive responses within an internal and external audience to a large extent.
Courtney from Study Moose
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