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The Persuasive Antony of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

The Persuasive Antony of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, the characters give many persuasive speeches, some stronger than others, to convince characters in the story about what is true, false, right, and wrong. After given instructions on a way to present his funeral speech for Caesar, Antony uses knowledge and skill to cover for his persuasion. Antony speaks to the Roman mob after Brutus. His objective is to turn the people against Brutus and the conspirators in a persuading way so the group will no longer follow what is wrong. Antony has skillful ways to help him convince the Romans that Caesar was a loving man and Brutus is not so honorable. He uses verbal irony, parallel phrases with repetition, and questioning of the truth to sway the crowds’ feelings.

When giving his speech, Antony uses his skill as an orator through the use of verbal irony. Antony tells the Romans that Brutus called Caesar ambitious. That is only what was said; he was not a man of ambition. Antony proves this by saying that Caesar turned the crown down and even wept for the poor of Rome. Brutus is referred to as an honorable man. Of course this is not true, but Antony uses the statement as verbal irony to sway the peoples’ minds. Everyone knows that killing someone, no matter what the case, is not a quality of an honorable person. Antony also knows Brutus’ reason for killing Caesar was not valid and wants to prove this to the people. When trying to prove himself true, Antony says, “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke…” (Act III, scene ii, 102). Antony does a swell job covering his purpose of his speech. He is really trying to make the mob see that Caesar …

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…r’s true self.

Is Antony’s speech for Caesar’s funeral a persuasive one? Antony does, in fact, persuade the Romans into believing the truth he reveals. As an orator, Antony’s words spoken through specific techniques such as verbal irony, parallel phrases with repetition, and questioning, prove his speech to be powerful and convincing. Unlike Brutus’ speech to the Romans, Antony uses true and factual information to back his thoughts. He does a good job referring to the opposition, which is Brutus’ thoughts of Caesar. Antony definitely tests the crowd by causing them to think about the right and wrong in the situation. He only wants the Romans to know that Caesar did love them and to realize Brutus wronged them. By being a powerful orator, Antony wins over the crowds’ perceptions to turn them against Brutus and the conspirators as his wished.

Julius Caesar Essay: Brutus’s and Antony’s Speeches

Brutus’s and Antony’s Speeches in Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a tragic story of the dog and the manger. After Caesar is killed Mark Antony, a good friend of Caesar, plots to revenge his bloody death. He knows there is strength in numbers, and through a speech at Caesar’s funeral, Antony plans to win the crowd of Rome and turn them against Brutus and the other conspirators. Cassius is one of the leading conspirators and is weary of Antony; Brutus is confident that there is nothing to fear, but he speaks before Antony at the funeral just to be safe. These two speeches, vastly different in message but similar in delivery, move the emotions of the people. Brutus’s and Antony’s speeches differ in length, have similar ways of keeping the crowd’s attention, and differ in tone.

The first and most obvious difference in the two funeral orations is their lengths. Brutus’s speech is composed of 403 authoritative words; whereas Antony’s speech makes an immense impact with 1097 words. Brutus is over-confident and only says what he needs to in order to get his point across. He does not expect anything more than a tear-filled eulogy from Antony, therefore shortening his explanation of Caesar’s murder. Brutus is also having some regrets about his murderous deed, and he does not want to sound as if he is defending himself or his motives, simply interpreting them. Antony, on the other hand, has much more to say than Brutus anticipates. His speech is split into six lengthy sections. First, Antony counters what Brutus says by proving that Caesar was not ambitiou…

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…ve in his cause rather than Brutus’s. Finally, while the crowd is in awe of Brutus’s raw power and booming authority, Antony uses sarcasm to rip down any respect the Roman people may have built for Brutus and the conspirators. In his funeral oration, Antony insults Brutus ten times by stating that he is “an honorable man” (Act III, scene ii, line 84) in a tone of biting mockery, therefore questioning Brutus’s credibility.

It is true that the Roman people have emotions that sway with the winds, but this is partly due to the great speaking skills of both Brutus and Mark Antony. Using different tactics, the speakers are able to play a game of tug-of-war. Antony unexpectedly pulls Brutus facedown into the mud where Caesar’s blood, still fresh, forms puddles.

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