Julius Caesar Essay: Brutus's and Antony's Speeches

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Brutus's and Antony's Speeches in Julius Caesar William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is a tragic story of the dog and the manger. After Caesar is killed Mark Antony, a good friend of Caesar, plots to revenge his bloody death. He knows there is strength in numbers, and through a speech at Caesar's funeral, Antony plans to win the crowd of Rome and turn them against Brutus and the other conspirators. Cassius is one of the leading conspirators and is weary of Antony; Brutus is confident that there is nothing to fear, but he speaks before Antony at the funeral just to be safe. These two speeches, vastly different in message but similar in delivery, move the emotions of the people. Brutus's and Antony's speeches differ in length, have similar ways of keeping the crowd's attention, and differ in tone. The first and most obvious difference in the two funeral orations is their lengths. Brutus's speech is composed of 403 authoritative words; whereas Antony's speech makes an immense impact with 1097 words. Brutus is over-confident and only says what he needs to in order to get his point across. He does not expect anything more than a tear-filled eulogy from Antony, therefore shortening his explanation of Caesar's murder. Brutus is also having some regrets about his murderous deed, and he does not want to sound as if he is defending himself or his motives, simply interpreting them. Antony, on the other hand, has much more to say than Brutus anticipates. His speech is split into six lengthy sections. First, Antony counters what Brutus says by proving that Caesar was not ambitiou... ... middle of paper ... ...ve in his cause rather than Brutus's. Finally, while the crowd is in awe of Brutus's raw power and booming authority, Antony uses sarcasm to rip down any respect the Roman people may have built for Brutus and the conspirators. In his funeral oration, Antony insults Brutus ten times by stating that he is "an honorable man" (Act III, scene ii, line 84) in a tone of biting mockery, therefore questioning Brutus's credibility. It is true that the Roman people have emotions that sway with the winds, but this is partly due to the great speaking skills of both Brutus and Mark Antony. Using different tactics, the speakers are able to play a game of tug-of-war. Antony unexpectedly pulls Brutus facedown into the mud where Caesar's blood, still fresh, forms puddles.

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