Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Inquiry -- Excerpt from Plato's Republic VI (493a ff): Antony's Use of Rhetoric in the Funeral Oration
1. What is a sophist? (Look it up yourself, and find the best definition!)
2. What is a sophist really good at doing? What does he call this skill? Why?
3. Explain in your own words the metaphor of the beast that is used to describe what the sophist does when he speaks to a throng of people.
4. Is the sophist concerned to know what is noble, good, and just? What is the sophist's concern?
5. What does the sophist call "just"? Why?
6. Explain the relationship between the sophist and his audience, and why it is not properly a form of education.
7. Examine Antony's funeral oration (III.ii.75ff) for its rhetorical effect upon his audience. What is the desired effect of Antony's speech? Does he achieve this effect? If so, how is it achieved? (i.e.: By what devices does he lead his audience?) What regard does Antony have for what is noble, good, or just in his speech? Explain whether or not you think the speech is instructive or manipulative. (3 paragraphs minimum)