Brutus/Antony Compare and Contrast

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Trevor Nelson
Mr. Kugler
English Period 2
14 May 2012
Compare and Contrast
Brutus was able to answer the Plebeians’ taunting and accusatory questions by using a simple concession and refutation technique. By praising Caesar by calling him “fortunate” and “valiant” he was able to demonstrate to the Plebeians that he still loved Caesar and did not kill him out of spite, jealousy, or any other malevolent reason, but because in the end, “[Caesar] was ambitious” and therefore Brutus had to kill his “best lover for the good of Rome.” Brutus’ simple yet passionate unveiling of his reasons for killing his beloved friend and the feelings and guilt that came along with it was able to capture the support, and hearts, of the audience. His simple (although flawed) logic was able to convince the Plebeians that he was justified in the murder. Brutus’ simple, logical, yet effective speech left a daunting barrier for Antony to overcome in order to gain the people’s support. Antony started out his speech much the same as Brutus’, by welcoming the crowd with a friendly tone. At first, he also praised Caesar, saying “he hath brought many captives home to Rome.” However, Antony subtly laces what seems to be sincere praise with a darker undertone by adding the sentence “Yet Brutus says he was ambitious” after every compliment given, making the audience wonder how truthful Brutus’ words were. The Plebeians’ support shift in support of Antony as he provides more and more evidence of how Caesar was a good man and ruler. As he goes on, Antony’s speech differs from Brutus’ by appealing to audience’s emotion, which is pathos. The Plebeians, now having a completely different perspective, are emotional, and Antony uses this to his advantage by continuing to drive in the flawed logic and subliminal idea that Brutus was in fact NOT an honorable man. Near the end of his speech, Antony uses the late Caesar’s will (which is very kind to the commoners) to first taunt and then enrage...
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