Paper Sample: The Argument Between Caesar's Wife, Calphurnia and Decius

Published: 2023-01-22
Paper Sample: The Argument Between Caesar's Wife, Calphurnia and Decius
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Shakespeare Character analysis Dramatic literature Julius Caesar
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 875 words
8 min read

In the play by William Shakespeare, "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar," Caesar's wife, Calphurnia and his best friend, Decius try to persuade him on his attendance to the Senate meeting. Calphurnia had a dream that Caesar would be killed if he attended the meeting and supports her argument by saying, she fears for her husband's life. She appeals to ethos by speaking from her heart, and yet her dream does not seem to have substantial logic. Decius, after listening to her vision, takes advantage of it and interprets it in his way, knowing that his friend Caesar will not turn down anything that guarantees him success, power, and wealth.

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Why Caesar finds Decius's argument more persuasive

Caesar finds Decius arguments more compelling because he uses evil tactics and sweet lies to get into his head. Calphurnia makes use of persuasive appeals of ethos to win her case, but the only credibility she has is the fact that she is Caesar's wife. Calphurnia wishes to get the attention of her husband by telling him about what she saw in her dreams, saying "A lioness hath whelped in the streets, and graves have yawned, and yielded up their dead; fierce, fiery warriors fought upon the cloud" (Shakespeare 5-7). Calphurnia concludes her argument by saying to Caesar, "your wisdom is consumed in your confidence, do not go forth today. Call it my fear" (Shakespeare, 29-30). Although the dream influences Caesar, it lacks enough logic to make him stay at home. Caesar does not fear death because, in his opinion, the gods have control over his life, and if it is his time, then it is okay if he dies; he says "What can be avoided, whose end is purposed by the mighty gods" (Shakespeare 15-16). Caesar is a confident man, and always sure about himself and Decius being a close friend, knows his arrogance well, and decides to take advantage of it. Decius convinced Caesar by turning the negative features of his wife's dream into some positive aspects. He belonged to the group at the Senate that was secretly planning to murder Caesar. He convinces Caesar that Calphurnia has misinterpreted the dream by telling him that, "this dream is all misinterpreted; it was a vision, fair and fortune" (Shakespeare 45-46). It was easy for Caesar to find Decius more convincing since Decius concluded by assuring him that the Senate had already chosen him "and know it now Caesar, the Senate has concluded to give this crown to mighty Caesar. If you send hem word that you might not come, their minds might change" (Shakespeare 55-56). Decius used their weaknesses of Caesar to appeal to him and told him everything he needed to hear. He knows how greedy Caesar is and how much he is willing to do to get the glory and become a legend. Caesar is also arrogant and cannot be driven by the emotional appeals of his wife, Calphurnia.

Clarity, Fairness, and Accuracy of the Author's arguments

The Author's arguments are clear, accurate, and fair since they contain ethos, pathos, and logos. All arguments should include many different perspectives that should be persuasive, influential, and convincing. The arguments contain people's feelings and emotions and the logical reasoning following their statements. The argument is well rooted in great psychological science and is made more potent by its inclusion of ethos, which vouches for what is right. Although it is easy to classify the characters in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar in terms of their emotional depth and mental complexity, it is easier to come up with conclusions about them based on their individuality. The motives of characters like Calphurnia are obvious while Decius masks his intentions by appearing to be loyal and supportive.

Why I agree with Caesar's reasoning for thinking Decius had a stronger and more persuasive argument.

I agree with Caesar's reasoning that Decius had a more persuasive argument. A good argument should have a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos. It should utilize ethos by appealing to ethics, what is wrong and what is right, it should have pathos; an emotional appeal and logos; a call to sense and logic. In Shakespeare's plays, arguments have been shaped by the utilization of these three aspects. Both Decius and Calphurnia have their focus on whether Shakespeare should attend the Senate, but Decius uses both logos and pathos in his argument while Calphurnia only uses pathos. Calphurnia hopes that her use of pathos will scare her husband into attending the meeting, while Decius knows that by using logical reasoning, he will convince Caesar since he is a man full of pride. Decius is an intelligent man, and very good at how he structures his words; he makes Caesar desperate to follow his advice. Calphurnia is just his wife, emotional and scared.


In history, it has been identified that most men who seek power are good at using words to get to where they want to be. These can be through bravery, speeches, and promotion through the media. The play by William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" shows how people are affected by words. It is a tale about a leader that is betrayed by his closest friend.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Vol. 5. Methuen, 1902.

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