Julius Caesar: Brutus vs Antony Essay

Topics: Rhetoric, Ethos, Roman Republic Pages: 2 (591 words) Published: October 1, 2012
The speeches given to the Roman citizens by Brutus and Antony are the most predominate and important aspects of the play, because they each manipulated their words and incorporated the use of rhetorical devices and the three classical appeals, (ethos, pathos, and logos) in such a way that each speech dramatically affected who the crowd favored.

Both Brutus and Antony used an ethical appeal, or ethos, in their speeches, although it was much more prominent in Brutus’ speech. Brutus focused his speech on the reasons why he killed Caesar, so his opening statement “Believe me on my honor” is well placed because it reminded the crowd of Brutus’ nobility and his place in society. It also indirectly implies that since Brutus is of high rank, the crowd should obey his request. By starting out his speech with the use of ethos, Brutus gives himself credibility, and gives him the image of an honorable and trustworthy man in the eyes of the crowd. It is difficult for Antony to use ethos in his speech, because of his reputation as a “play boy” or “party animal” that wasn’t serious about anything. The crowd already had a bad impression of Antony, so it would be very difficult for him to give himself credibility and a positive image in the eyes of the crowd. The one instance where he may have used ethos is when he repeated “Brutus is an honorable man” several times, because this caught the crowds attention and eventually made them believe the opposite, due to the ways he placed the phrase each time, and how he said it more sarcastically as time went on.

The emotional appeal, pathos, is most used in both speeches. Brutus states about Caesars “tears, love, and ambition,” and also asks the audience theoretical questions that they could not answer, and took the silence as agreements. He makes the audience believe that he really loved Caesar, and had to assasinate him for the good of Rome. He says “its not that I love Caesar less, but I love Rome more” which causes the crowd to...
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