Marc Anthony Speech Analysis

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  • Topic: Rhetoric, Roman Republic, Mark Antony
  • Pages : 3 (879 words )
  • Download(s) : 1337
  • Published : April 30, 2008
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William Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the most influential playwrights in history. Believed to have first been performed in 1600, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar quickly gained recognition, and has been recognized since as one of Shakespeare’s more famous works. The play revolves around its three central characters, Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony, and Brutus. In the play Mark Anthony delivers one of the most famous speeches ever given; better known as the "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech. This speech is delivered right after the assassination of Julius Caesar, and is the second memorial speech spoken to the Roman plebeians, Brutus’ being the first. It is a subtle entreaty to embolden the citizen’s of Rome to avenge Caesar’s death, revealing Mark Anthony’s true repugnance toward the conspirators because of what he sees as their murder of Caesar, and what they see as a heroic deed. A moving speech, the impact of the “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech was so powerful partially because of Antony’s skill as an orator, and partially because of the strong rhetorical strategies of appeals to logos and pathos, repetition, verbal irony, style and tone. Anthony appeals to logos in a number of ways. Anthony begins his speech by using the idea from Brutus’ speech that Caesar was an ambitious man. Brutus used this thought to support his basis for killing Julius Caesar. Antony presents evidence of Caesar’s “ambition,” when he states, “he was my friend, faithful and just to me; but Brutus says he was ambitious and; and Brutus is an honorable man.” Anthony also declares, “He [Caesar] hath brought many captives home to Rome whose ransoms did the general coffers fill,” and then asks,” Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?” This rhetoric question emphasizes Anthony’s point that Caesar was in fact not ambitious at all. Though Anthony is presenting the information about Caesar as evidence of his “ambition,” he is actually discrediting Brutus because...
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