A silver blade pierces through Julius Caesar’s chest, his lifeless corpse lies still after being stabbed twenty-three times. Many called him an autocrat, tyrant, and dictator, while others said he was a sublime and noble leader; the words people say hold the same or more power as weapons. The power of words is limitless. Time and time again, whether we realize it or not, words have a significant impact on others. This is displayed predominately throughout The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
In this essay I will demonstrate the importance of words and how it can influence others.
Joel Osteen said, “Be careful what you say. You can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there.’ Brian Banks is a key example of words being more powerful than weapons; in the summer of 2002 he was falsely accused of raping Wanetta Gibson. His NFL career was wasted as he spent five years in jail, it was only after all those years that she came forward to say that she had plotted the affair.
The time he spent locked away from the world, for a crime he didn’t commit, can never be taken back. Her words were a whip and each statement left him with more broken. His career, his hope, his future, his whole life was ruined by a few words.
Similarly, in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar there are a multitude of instances where words are proven much stronger than weapons as well.
Cassius plays a major role in persuading Brutus to join the conspirators; he sends numerous letters to Brutus flattering him, saying how great a ruler he’d be, but signing them as people in the city. In the beginning Cassius pulls Brutus aside to tell him about the scheme to take down Caesar, but Cassius was clever to play to Brutus’s ego. “Your hidden worthiness into your eye, that you might see your shadow.” (The Tragedy of Julius Caesar- 1.2.63-63)
Another example plays a major turn point in the play where Marc Antony gives his famous speech at Caesars funeral. Brutus was first to speak and swayed the crowd’s views about their ruler, stating that if he were still in power, they would all be slaves. The people cheered, Brutus is the noblest roman! Then things took an unexpected turn; Antony showed the people Caesar’s wounded body and with the power of persuasion he instantly turned the people against the conspirators. His words were truly weapons, bringing a war against one another.
In conclusion, I don’t think people realize how powerful words can be, they speak louder than actions do and more harm than weapons. Such simple words can break friendships in an instant, start wars, break bonds, and possibly change the world. Words are indeed weapons, when our tones raise, the sting of its blade is only more painful. Brian Banks said, “Anyone can learn to shoot a gun, anyone can pull the trigger. But an act of violence doesn’t have the lasting and profound effects that words do.”