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Speech Analysis of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar

Speech Analysis of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar

In Antony's funeral oration, he abides by his agreement with Brutus not to place blame on the conspirators. However, he manages to turn the mob against the conspirators. How does he do this? Use examples from the speech to support your answers.

Antony uses many rhetorical tricks to persuade the people to go against the conspirators and support him and Caeser's goals. Marc Antony is a respectable man and is himself honorable, but most importantly he has mastered the art of rhetoric. Antony states in his speech that "[Brutus] Hath told you Caesar was ambitious", and then Antony retorts with "I thrice presented him [Caesar] a kingly crown which he did thrice refuse." By doing that, Antony carefully rebuts Brutus' statement that Caesar was ambitious and starts turning the crowd against the conspirators.

Throughout his speech Antony continues with his pledge to the conspirators by calling them "honorable men", but the crowd feels a sense of sarcasm each time his calls them that. He then says "You [the crowd] all did love him once, not without cause. What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?" This rhetorical question goes against Brutus by questioning his speech in which he so greatly demonized and demeaned Caesar. Now the crowd is starting to turn against the conspirators and follow Antony.

Antony then teases the crowd with Caesar's will, which the beg him to read, but he refuses. Antony tells the crowd to "have patience" and expresses his feeling that he will "wrong the honorable men whose daggers have stabbed Caesar" if he is to read the will. The crowd yells out "they were traitors. 'Honorable men" and have at this time completely turned against the conspirators and are inflamed about Caeser's death.

To refute Brutus' claim that Caesar was a heartless tyrant Antony recounts "how dearly he [Caesar] loved him [Brutus]. Next, Antony humbles himself as "no orator, as Brutus is" hinting that Brutus used trickery in his speech to deceive the crowd. After that Antony deals his final blow by revealing to the crowd Caeser's will, in which "To every Roman citizen he gives, to every several man seventy-five drachmas" as well as land. He then asks the crowd, "Here was a Caesar, when comes such another?" , which questions the conspirators ability to lead. Finally, Antony releases the crowd and utters, "Now let...

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Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   3 pages (570 words)

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