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Rhetoric Is a Superpower

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Rhetoric Is a Superpower

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Rhetoric is a superpower, one that can be used for one’s own advantage or for the good of others. Antony’s best friend, Julius Caesar, has been betrayed by his acquaintances and even by his best friend Brutus. Antony’s dreads for justice, now at the funeral of Caesar he awaits his chance to speak the truth through the power of rhetoric.

Antony speaks of Brutus being an honest and humble man and talks as well of the others who also betrayed him. Accordingly he says the following “Here under leave of Brutus and the rest (For Brutus is an honorable man; So are they all, all honorable men)” (Shakespeare 3.2.90-92). Antony only notes good things for his traitors and exposes them in a very delicate position calling them “honorable men”. Antony talks of Caesar’s killers as honorable men, acting as if he was on their side, to then create a contrast with what Antony truly feels about Brutus and his acquaintances killing Caesar.

After glorifying Brutus and his companions so much, then Antony shifts his way of speaking towards Brutus in a careful manner, without insulting him directly and causing the people to ignore him. Correspondingly, Antony then defames the portrait he painted of Brutus by saying, “I thrice presented Caesar with a kingly crown which he did thrice refuse./ Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says/ He was ambitious” (3.2.104-108). Through Antony’s rhetoric, the plebeian’s point of view is completely shifted, Antony keeps Caesars picture humble opposite to that of which they’d thought then unmasked the truth with facts and sceneries of when Caesar still lived. Antony spoke carefully, crafting his words into a powerful statement. With the use of rhetoric Brutus’ hard work to convince the peasants of his righteousness was greatly weakened and nearly destroyed.

After other multiple statements, the plebeians were convinced that Brutus had lied to them and betrayed Caesar without reason, now furious the plebeians join sides with Antony to butcher the...