A fight with words to change the minds of your audience is one way to explain rhetoric. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, rhetoric is exactly what Brutus and Mark Antony used to duke it out and to get their point across about Caesar’s death to the people of Rome. Seeking to gain their support and change their minds based on their rhetorical way with words. Let’s get it on!
“If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” (3.2/ 19) Brutus tries to tell the people that he executed Caesar for their own good . “Had you rather Caesar living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?” (3.2/ 22) Here, Brutus gives the people an example of their lives might have come to if the ambitious Caesar continued to live. Telling the people because of him they are free and will continue to have their freedom. Brutus’ rhetorical words give a legitimate explanation and find gratitude within the people of Rome for his action. Brutus killed Caesar for the good of Rome! This is what Brutus makes the people to believe. “Who is here so vile that will not love his country” (3.2/ 32) Telling he people if the don’t agree with the execution or Caesar they don’t love their country. As he continues to speak he continues to use rhetoric to move the people of Rome he acquires the hearts and admiration of his fellow Romans.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears.” (3.2/ 74) This speech by Mark Antony in Act three Scene two is filled with irony and enthymemes. Mark Antony ignites anger in the audience in and wins them over using rhetoric to prove himself. An enthymeme Antony used to prove the truth about Brutus’ evil ways was mentioning that those who murder their own friends are the unkindest of men. In a sense, Mark Antony indirectly calls Brutus an unkind man. The repetition of calling the murderers honorable men makes a sense of sarcasm in the...
Cited: Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. New York: Penguin, 1960.
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