Compare and Contrast the Funeral Speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony. Which Is More Effective and Why?

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony Pages: 3 (1015 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony. Which is more effective and why?

When Brutus goes up to speak to the crowd he appeals to them as “Romans” before all else. As this keeps with his reason for joining the conspiracy the audience can see that he is honourable and trustworthy. The roman public may also know this because they hail him as “noble” Brutus and Brutus also asks them at the start of his speech to “Believe me for mine honour”. Brutus repeatedly uses “honour” throughout his speech as a way to gain trust from the crowds. Another way he may have been trying to gain trust is by imitating Caesar by speaking in the third person; “I say that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his”. It could also be a way of showing the people that he is just as noble as Caesar.

His main speech to the people is honest and consistent with all his thinking and arguing throughout the play. Though he has no thought of deceiving the people his speech is nevertheless a shrewd, skilful piece of rhetoric which includes techniques such as rhetorical questions: “Who is here so base that would be a bondman?” This is made even more effective by following up with another two questions which together make three clear and powerful points. Another technique he uses is when he is describing or talking about Caesar is to state three good or positive things about him; “As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him” and then say one bad thing; “but as he was ambitious, I slew him.” Interestingly “ambition” is the only cause Brutus can give for Caesar’s death yet by putting it after a powerful tricolon showcasing Caesar’s good qualities he seems to suggest that just that one little bad thing can completely nullify all of his other achievements and justify murdering him. Brutus speaks calmly and reasonably but creates a kind of hysteria in the crowd by the time he has finished speaking. Though the...
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