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Over time, people who have been seen as powerful men were given authority based on their words and actions they offer to their followers. In “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, the character Caesar is a powerful leader of Rome. His rising power and dramatic increase of authority puts fear in the senators of his government causing them to plot his removal. His old friend Brutus is manipulated to believe Caesars sudden rise in power is crucially bad for Rome, leading to Brutus betraying him followed by his death. Soon after Caesar’s death, senators Marc Antony and Brutus spoke on the dramatic death of Caesar using persuasive speeches to gain trust and reliance from the audience.
Although Brutus and Antony both executed effective persuasive speeches, Antony’s’ use of repetition , rhetorical questions, and loaded words made his speech more powerful.Both Brutus and Antony used repetition in their speeches to move their audience. Both Brutus and Antony refer to Brutus as an honorable man. Over his speech , Antony calls Brutus an honorable man after reminding the audience of what he did to Caesar. An example of this would be when Antony, says, “He was my friend, faithful and just to me but Brutus says he was ambitious”( Julius Caesar. 3.2.10). In saying this, Antony’s main goal is to point out that if Brutus was so honorable, why would he do something so dishonorable. Brutus however, refers to himself as an honorable man to prove his love for Rome. Brutus, says,” If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus love to Caesar was no less than his”(Julius Caesar.3.2.7-9).
Brutus says this to gain empathy from the audience, and acknowledge his love for Rome. Above all Antony utilized repetition in a more striking and significant way.Brutus and Antony’s speeches both reflected many differences , but some of the major were their use of sarcasm and credibility. To establish credibility for himself Brutus tells the audience to hear him out on his intentions of killing the great Julius Caesar. Brutus, says,”Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour that you may believe; censure me in your wisdom, and awake your sense, that you may the better judge”(Julius Caesar.3.2.3-6). Brutus tries to connect with the audience by establishing himself as an honorable man. While Brutus used credibility to pursue the audience, Antony used sarcasm to wake them up. Throughout Brutus’ speech he refers to Caesar as an ambitious man, claiming his pride was greater than his love for Rome. Antony counters Brutus’ statement by bringing up the moments when Caesar denied the crown three times, something an ambitious would never do. Antony, says, “You all did see that on the luperical I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse; was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious”( Julius Caesar.3.2.23-26).
This statement brings a realization that shifts the audience’s attention to Antony. In short, Antony’s use of sarcasm was a more valuable in proving his case than Brutus establishing credibility.Brutus and Antony both gave impressive messages appealing to the people of Rome. Two major reasons Antony gave the best overall speech was because although he and Brutus were on opposite sides of this feud, he respected his perspective, and appealed to the values and opinions of the audience. One way he respects Brutus in his speech is by referring to him as an honorable man although he was obviously dishonorable Antony, says,” For Brutus is an honorable man”( Julius Caesar.3.2.7). Antony appeals to the values and opinions of the audience by listening to what the audience had to say. He shifts them from not being offended that Brutus would kill not only his friend, but the great Caesar, to begging to hear the will of Caesar and understand his love for the Romans. The citizens , say,” The will the will! We will hear caesar’s will”(Julius Caesar.3.2.36-37).
The ability to respect and listen to everyone else’s opinion on the matter led to Antony’s speech making a greater impact. Overall the traits he showed to counter Brutus’ statements in a positive way gained him the audiences respect. Although Marc Antony had a very impacting speech it can be said to have flaws. It can also be said that he didn’t counter enough of Brutus’ claims. This is not true because Brutus claims he is honorable when he obviously is not. Antony points this out, proclaiming if he is so honorable why would he do something so dishonorable. Antony, says, “ But yesterday the world of Caesar might have stood against the world; now lies there”(Julius Caesar.3.2.41-42). He goes on to say” I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong, who you know are honorable men”(Julius Caesar.3.2.47-48).Brutus says this to counter Brutus’ claim of being honorable. It can be seen that Antony used counterclaims against Brutus.Overall, both Brutus and Antony executed effective persuasive speeches but Antony’s use of repetition, value in the others opinion, and use of words allowed his speech to impact the audience more than Brutus. Antony expressed sarcasm, empathy, and ability to counter all of Brutus’s claim allowed Antony’s speech to overpower Brutus’ speech. If Antony had not spoken after Brutus, used sarcasm, repetition, and listen to the other side, his speech might have not had the same major impact it did.In short Antony utilized rhetorical devices, and analyzed the situation better than Brutus.
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