After the assignation of Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, Marc Antony quickly gathered supporters and rose to power with Lepidus and Octavian. Antony’s rise to power brings Cicero back to Rome and to the Senate. Upon arriving, Cicero learns of Antony’s new proposals to the Senate and decides not to attend the meeting. For this reason, Antony ridicules and disgraces Cicero. Cicero retaliates and defends himself from Marc Antony’s comments through the Second Philippic. In his writing, Cicero argues the accusations made against him and uses rhetoric to show the Senate how imprudent and unwise Antony really is.
Cicero begins is speech by addressing the Senate and declaring his allegiance to The Republic of Rome. He is pleased to identify Antony as one of his new enemies and states “Our country has never had an enemy who has not, simultaneously, made himself an enemy of mine of mine as well” (102). The Senate, who supports The Republic, is reminded of Cicero’s involvement in saving The Republic from earlier enemies, Catiline and Publius Clodius. Cicero implies that Antony is very similar Catiline and Publius Clodius and thus effectively persuades readers, especially the Senate, to understand and support his view of Antony.
The first argument Cicero makes against Antony regards accusations of a violated friendship. Antony believes he did Cicero a favor by not killing him and wants Cicero to be thankful and show gratitude. Cicero views Antony’s allegation as hilarious and absurd. He explains to Senators that Antony is nothing more the criminal and states “That Senators, is what a favour from gangsters amounts to” (104). Cicero successfully uses rhetoric to gain support by comparing Antony to a dis...
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...sar. Cicero believed Antony only proposed his idea to make a profit rather than in Caesar’s honor (150). Antony’s decisions in the past have mainly resulted in self-gain and is suggested as disloyalty to Caesar in the Senates eyes.
In the Second Philippic, Cicero annihilates any reputation Antony had in Rome. He suggests that Antony eliminated The Republic, is disloyal, selfish and unsophisticated. By using excellent word structure, exaggeration and persuasion, Cicero effectively convinces the Senate and other readers to believe Antony is a fool. He defended himself by creating an image of Antony that would change any Roman citizen’s view. Cicero takes Antony’s lifestyle, decisions, mistakes, and relationships to successfully persuade the Senate to see his side of the argument. For these reasons, Cicero commendably won the dispute by using rhetoric.
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