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First Philippic Against Marcus Essay

2755 words - 12 pages

In Cicero's, "First Philippic against Marcus Antonius," he is offering his view on the political situation after the death of Caesar. His purpose for coming before the Senate is to drive them to the realization that Marcus Antonius and his actions are slowly breaking down the unity of the country. He praises Marcus Antonius for his fine speech, intentions, and promises, then points out the fallacies and unconstitutionality of Marcus Antonius' actions. He reminds the Senators that "Nothing was done any longer through the Senate…" because measures were being passed without declaration or consent. The Senate and Caesar's advisors are Cicero's audience even though the end of the speech is ...view middle of the document...

I reminded members of the ancient precedent created by the Athenians making use of my oration…and I moved that every memory of our internal discords should be effaced in everlasting oblivion." He assures the Senate that he is a dedicated consul and Senator with only good intentions. He establishes his credibility.In the next section of the speech, Cicero commends Antonius on handling the issues of the country well, since he did invite political leaders to attend a consultation session on the nation situation at his home, and for answering questions directly. "Were any exiles recalled? One…Were any tax-exemptions granted? None." At this point, the Senate can agree with Cicero's contentment because Marcus Antonius has done many admirable deeds. But after this remark, Cicero's tone changes. "So determined was his action that I am amazed by the contrast between that day and all the others which have followed." He points out the days when Marcus Antonius deeds were just and great and then there is a sudden transformation, a dramatic mood or tone change.Cicero continues to confirm his credibility because his speech cannot be effective without the Senate being convinced that he has only good intentions at heart. He states the circumstances that prompted his departure. He explains that "Nothing was any longer done through the Senate, many significant measure were passed through the Assembly of the people…without even consulting the Assembly, and against its wishes. The consuls elect declared they did not dare come into the Senate at all. The liberators…were excluded from the very city which they had rescued from servitude…" Cicero felt that "it was less disagreeable to learn of these things that to see them…" so he left. He could not stand to see this happen so he takes up the opportunity to travel, an honorary mission (legatio libera.) He earns credibility here because he uses Pathos to get them to understand his positions and emotions. They are able to sympathize with Cicero.He goes on to explain the reason for his return. When he had left, he had a date that he would return in mind, January 1st. Shortly after his arrival in Greece, he heard news of "a well-attended meeting of the Senate on the first of August and that Antonius was going to drop his bad advisers, renounce his governorship of the Gallic provinces, and resume his allegiance to the authority of the Senate." He makes is clear that he was eager to return so that he could witness such a great day. He describes his enthusiasm, "no winds were speedy enough to satisfy my impatience…I was eager not to waste a moment in offering the government my congratulations." And on his way home, he hears about Piso's great speech and the lack of support that he received. Cicero tells the Senate that this gave him even more reason to return. "…I hastened back to lend him my aid. My purpose was not so much to accomplish anything concrete…this is...

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