Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration Essay

Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration Essay

Length: 1459 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Mark Antony pleads with his “Friends, Romans (and) countrymen” to lend him their ears in an effort to exonerate Caesar from false charges laid against him. The three main conspirators in Caesar’s murder, Brutus, Casca and Cassius portrayed Caesar as an ambitious tyrant to the Roman people. After Caesar was unjustly killed by his friends and comrades, the crowd was persuaded to believe that his death was necessary for the good of the republic. However, Antony’s oration cleverly manipulates the crowd through the use of pathetic appeals, especially enargeia, into rebelling against the assassins and mourning the death of Caesar.

Caesar’s untimely and unnecessary death created a unique rhetorical moment that Marc Antony seized. Bitzer states in his article “The Rhetorical Situation” that “a particular discourse comes into existence because of some specific condition or situation which invites utterance” (Bitzer 41). According to the assassins, Caesar’s murder was necessary for the good of all the Roman citizens, who unquestioningly believed Brutus’s accusations that Caesar was ambitious and unfit to govern Rome. Marc Antony used his speech to win back the citizens and unite them in grief and outrage at Caesar’s murder. One of Marc Antony’s objectives as he ascended to the pulpit was to refute the claims of Caesar’s guilt of ambition: “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, / Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? / Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; / And, sure, he is an honourable man. / I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke” (3.2.98-102). He reminded the public that Caesar had been offered the opportunity to be crowned King of Rome three times, and each time Caesar had refused it...

... middle of paper ...

...r the name of the slain leader and managed to sway public opinion from one extreme to another. His words cause the angry mob to scour the streets of Rome for anyone who took part in his murder. His pathetic appeals to his friends, Romans and countrymen incited them to become an enraged mob to avenge Caesar’s death. His words display the assassin’s malicious actions for what they were and honor the memory of Caesar.

Works Cited

Bitzer, Lloyd F. "The Rhetorical Situation." Philosophy and Rhetoric (1968): 39-48.

Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. "Chapter 6: Ethical Proof : Arguments From Character." Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. New York: Pearson Longmann, 2004. 163-203.

Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. "Chapter 7: Pathetic Proof : Passionate Appeals." Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. New York: Pearson Longmann, 2004. 205-219.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

- “Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable” ~Marcus Tulius Cicero. After Julius Caesar’s death, his friend Marc Antony decides to speak about the incidents that have occurred in order to clarify what really happened. During Caesar’s funeral speech, Antony utilizes persuasive devices in order to help the plebeians to agree with his point of view. He convinces all of the people using specific evidence from the past, repetition of important words, and statements that create suspense....   [tags: Marc Antony's Speech]

Powerful Essays
919 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Funeral Oration of Pericles

- We can learn several things from the “Funeral Oration of Pericles“. Two of these things are, the Athenians respect for their warrior class and how the Athenians were exceedingly proud of their city and its customs. The Athenians respected the warrior class and placed them among the top members of their society. They were seen as the top portion of their classes. They are classified as heroes or idols. The Athenians are extremely proud of their city and its traditions. To the people of Athens their country was at the top and there was no other country that could top them off....   [tags: Pericles Funeral Oration Essays]

Powerful Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

The Importance of the Warrior Class Exposed in Funeral Oration of Pericles

- There are two important matters that the "Funeral Oration of Pericles" proves, these two matters are, the great respect that Athenians have for their warrior class and how the Athenians were exceedingly proud of their city and its customs. The following paper discusses the way of life of Athenians and how the Funeral Oration of Pericles influenced it. It is a well-known fact that the Athenians had a great deal of respect for the warrior class and believed them to be among the top members of their society....   [tags: Funeral Oration of Pericles]

Powerful Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

The Funeral Oration For Athenian War Essay

- Pericles in 430 / 431 BCE recited his famous Funeral Oration at the annual public funeral for Athenian war casualties. This speech which is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful works of oratory/literature in history was recorded by Thucydides. By his recording of the Funeral Oration, we must question his motives – what would cause Thucydides to preserve this speech through writing. One answer could be that Thucydides noticed Athens was at a cusp (a point of inflection) in Athenian history / society....   [tags: Peloponnesian War, Ancient Greece]

Powerful Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

Pericles' Funeral Oration Essay

- It is widely known that the Athenians highly valued their warrior class, and they saw the warriors as a ring of the higher circle of the society. The Athenians were very proud of Athena and its traditions, as well. Athenian’s thought that Athena was the best, none could be better. The funeral oration was aimed to respect the fallen as well as to keep up the national pride and its passion to protect their nation. The speech was a eulogy which focused on the eminence of Athens and its predecessors....   [tags: Pericles, Athens,]

Powerful Essays
615 words (1.8 pages)

Marc Antony Essay

- Marc Antony “Friends, Romans, countryman lend me your ears” (Shakespeare), this saying is what Mark Antony is probably most noted for. Antony’s life can be broken down into three parts. The first part would have to be the earlier years of his life before the death of Caesar. In the middle is Antony’s few years of success and power. The last part of his life is the downfall of him. Mark Antony was very powerful and successful for a short period in Ancient Rome. To begin, Mark Antony was born in 83 BC in Rome into a wealthy family (Laura)....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

The Ambitious Marc Antony in Julius Caesar Essay

- The Ambitious Marc Antony in Julius Caesar The tragic and untimely death of Julius Caesar, a condemned Roman tyrant, triggered William Shakespeare's creativity. In his play Julius Caesar Shakespeare writes of the treacherous conspirators, Marcus Brutus and Caius Cassius, and their plans to assassinate their Roman leader, Julius Caesar. The story continues to explain how Caesar's loyal friend, Marc Antony, helps avenge the brutal murder. After Antony receives soldiers to fight his battle, his character begins to change....   [tags: Julius Caesar Essays]

Powerful Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis of the Funeral Speeches of Brutus and Marc Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

- Analysis of the Funeral Speeches of Brutus and Marc Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar At the funeral of Julius Caesar two characters make speeches to the plebeian mob, Brutus and Marc Antony. Shakespeare shows us the personalities of the two orators and gives one an advantage over the other. Marc Antony has an advantage over Brutus because he speaks after Brutus and he has Caesar’s body. He also interrupts Brutus’ speech. He uses a range of rhetorical devices to manipulate the crowd....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
765 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Why Marc Antony is a Round Character

- William Shakespeare wonderfully develops the character Marc Antony in his play Julius Caesar to be a round character. Round characters meaning a character that has many traits and isn’t predictable. Antony, who seems to not have many different traits at the beginning of Julius Caesar, really starts showing his real self after Caesar’s death. That also shows that he is unpredictable. Antony’s monologues and soliloquies really help to show readers Antony as a round character. A few traits these soliloquies and monologues show are that he is manipulative and smart, yet also caring and loving....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
564 words (1.6 pages)

Character Analysis of Brutus and Marc Antony Essay

- Character Analysis of Brutus and Marc Antony Brutus and Casseus work together with conspirators to kill Caesar. Caesar had good idea, which would work, but Brutus goes against him, thinking his tactics our good enough. Brutus is killing Caesar for the good of Rome, he knows that Caesar WILL OVERPOWER Rome and be too ambitious. Analysis of characters Brutus is an orator. Antony makes this clear by telling the crowd that he is "no orator as Brutus is". He can manipulate the crowds, because after his speech, the crowds cheer him....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)