Ethos, Logos and Pathos in Julius Caesar

Topics: Rhetoric, Roman Republic, Roman Empire Pages: 1 (346 words) Published: November 27, 2012
Ethos, logos and pathos are three persuasion tools used by Shakespeare in Mark Antony’s funeral oration over Caesar’s body. Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker, Logos is appeal based on logic or reason and Pathos is appeal based on emotion. Antony uses these elements to turn the Roman crowd against the conspirators with a highly convincing speech. These three persuasion tools and structure and diction are the key elements of the effectiveness of Mark Antony’s famous speech.

The most convincing use of ethos in Antony’s speech is in the first line of the speech; “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” This shows that Mark Antony is trying to get in to the Roman crowd’s hearts with his status as a trustworthy man. He uses rhetorical irony throughout the speech constantly questioning the ethos of Brutus. Brutus uses ethos heavily in his speech, he was considered very honourable a by the Romans, and basically anything that came out of his mouth had to be correct. Mark Antony targets the questionable character of Brutus several times saying: “And Brutus is an honourable man.” Antony then sums his speech up by using “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke.” This line once again outlines the irony used by Antony and this is where the trustworthy character of Mark Antony persuades the crowd to turn on the crowd, without Antony actually saying that what the conspirators did was the wrong thing.

Logos can be facts that are used to persuade someone. Mark Antony uses a lot of facts throughout the course of his speech. One of the key facts in his initial speech is; “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.” To use this is very logical by Mark Antony since most of the people that he is trying to persuade aren’t the richest bunch of folk in Rome. So when he uses ‘poor’ as the type of people that Caesar cried for, the crowd thinks that it is wrong to brutally murder someone who cared so much for them that......
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