The Authority of Words

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The Authority of Words

In the tragic play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Antony uses the power of words as a tactic to skillfully persuade the people that Caesar’s death was unjustified. Caesar has been killed by the conspiracy because they thought he was too powerful to be kept alive. His most loyal friend Antony makes a speech in order to persuade the Romans the murder the conspiracy committed was wrong. He uses several techniques to captivate the audience and change their view on Caesar’s death. Antony uses ethos, logos, and pathos to convince his audience that Brutus and the conspiracy had no right to assassinate Caesar.

Antony uses ethos throughout his speech to verify the credibility of Brutus’s opinions and to pacify the audience. An appeal to ethos is an appeal to appear credible to the audience. Antony introduces his speech by saying, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” (III.ii.82-83). He welcomes the Romans as his friends, which puts them at ease and makes them want to listen to what he has to say. Antony tells the audience that he did not come to talk about the achievements of Caesar and that allows the Romans to listen without knowing that he is trying to persuade them into thinking that Caesar was not an ambitious person. By using the word “friends” it makes them think that Antony is respectable and they can trust what he is saying. After Antony told the audience that Brutus

said Caesar was ambitious, he goes on to verify Brutus’s opinion by reiterating that, “Brutus is an honorable man; / So are they all, all honorable men-” (III.ii.91-92). This leads the people to think that he respects Brutus, even though he is disagreeing with him, and i...

... middle of paper ... without a cause. Through the use of pathos, the audience is captivated and they are able to see the pain that Antony is going through, which creates an image that Caesar was killed for an unnecessary cause.

Convincing his audience that Brutus and the conspiracy were unjust by murdering Caesar, Antony uses ethos, logos, and pathos. In his speech, Antony tactically sways the public to see his side of the argument and to take revenge for the brutal murder of his beloved friend Caesar. Many people, especially lawyers, study his speech today to analyze why Antony was persuasive to his audience. Throughout the world, individuals continue to mimic the tactics of ethos, logos, and pathos in their arguments to create a more solid and believable case.

Works Cited
Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear Julius Caesar.” SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.
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