Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Rhetoric, Irony, Question Pages: 2 (611 words) Published: April 21, 2013
The rhetorical device Antony took hold of throughout his persuasive argument is verbal irony. The use of verbal irony in his speech is so strong that it borders on sarcasm. "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears/I come to bury Ceasar, not to praise him." (3.2.81-82) says Antony when introducing himself to the crowd. The use of verbal irony is exemplified in this quote with the use of “Friend” He addresses the plebeians as "Friends" with the purpose of persuading them into believing that they were equal, and that he just wanted to say farewell Caesar, even though there is a clear distinction between Antony and the Plebeians. As his speech develops, Antony begins to plant the seed of doubt and anger in the Plebeians’ hearts towards the conspirators. "The noble Brutus/ hath told you Caesar was ambitious,/If it were so, it was a grievous fault, /And grievously hath Caesar answered it,/ Here, under the leave of Brutus and the rest-/ For Brutus is an honorable man,/ So are they all are honorable men" (2.3.84-91) Antony starts off his speech agreeing to not demize the conspirators. However, it is clear to the reader that Antony does everything in his power to show they were not honorable men without saying they were dishonest. By depicting Brutus’ speech he starts to create doubt and begin to inquire about the logic behind Antony argument against the conspirators. Once he had aroused this feeling of doubt in the plebeians Antony was able to continue with his argument with much more strength and confidence. A point extremely important in Antony's eulogy is persuading the crowd to view Caesar not as a the ambitious man Brutus made him out to be. The evidence that Antony gave the crowd which persuaded them into believing that Caesar was not indeed ambitious, was that "He hath brought many captives home to Rome, / Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill/.. I thrice presented him.a kingly crown/ Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?/ Yet Brutus says he...
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