In "Julius Caesar," words as a tool of verbal and emotional powerplay are a persuasive force, capable of altering the actions of individuals. In Act 1 of the play, Cassius, a shrewd and manipulative character, utilises verbal and emotional powerplay in his attempt to draw Brutus into the conspiracy. Cassius refers to the time when Caesar suffered from an epileptic fit, with the implication that power and physical strength are synonymous and this Caesar did not deserve to be treated like a God. "Tis true, this God did shake. His coward lips did from their colour fly." By pointing out Caesar's weaknesses and emphasising the fact that Caesar is no better than Brutus "What should be in that name, Caesar? Why should that name be sounded more than yours?" Cassius is attempting to flatter Brutus in order to draw him into the conspiracy. In a soliloquy delivered by Cassius at the end of the scene, Cassius states that he needs Brutus, an honourable and noble man, to participate to make the assassination appear more honourable. .
The power of words in their appeal to vanity is also illustrated in Act 2 by Decius" clever manipulation of the subject matter of Calpurnia's dream. Realising that Calpurnia has thwarted the assassination plans Decius must act quickly. Caesar's blood pouring from a statue is reinterpreted as signifying "that from you great Rome shall suck reviving blood and great men shall press for tinctures, stains, relics and cognisance" the reference to religious relics with the implication of Caesar's eventual sainthood together with the reminder that Caesar will be crowned that day suffices and the manipulation has succeeded. .
The manipulative power of words is also illustrated after Caesar's death when Mark Antony realises that if he is to avenge Caesar's death, he must pretend to make friends with the assassins. His message to the assassins, as related by his servant, stresses the powerful effect of words in their appeal to Brutus" vanity.