The Use of Literary Devices in the Speeches of Brutus and Antony in Shakespeare's, Julius Caesar

Topics: Question, Rhetorical question, Roman Republic Pages: 2 (678 words) Published: December 11, 2012
In examining the speeches that Brutus and Antony gave in Act 3, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s play we are able to locate many different literary devices.
We find that Brutus uses rhetorical questions on page 129 lines 30 to 34. He asks “Who is here so base that would be a bondman?”, “Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman?” and “Who is here so vile that will not love his country?”. Rhetorical questions are often used to put a thought into a listeners mind without that listener recognizing such a thing. In this particular case, the audience would not have taken the point that Brutus was attempting to get across easily, therefore his adding of a rhetorical question made the answer seem obvious. Another device Brutus takes advantage of to get his point across, is his use of parallel structure. Parallelism in writing is the repeated use of similar words, phrases or clauses. On page 127 lines 25 to 28 we note Brutus’ punctuation choice. He uses many commas and semicolons in order to separate ideas while still making the connection. Brutus says that he wept for Caesar as he was was fortunate, but for he was ambitious he slew him. He uses this literary with effectiveness. A third device Brutus uses in his speech is that he appeals to emotion. In appealing to the emotion of the crowd he is able to show the crowd that he can sympathize with them. On page 129 lines 30-34 he speaks of how he does not want to offend anyone. He wants the citizens to feel as though Brutus is on the same page as them. In doing this he gains the trust and appreciation of the citizens in the crowd.

Antony also uses many different types of devices to persuade the audience in his direction. One device he uses is effective repetition. We often hear the phrase “repetition for emphasis”, in Antony’s speech this applies quite adequately, however there is a twist. On page 131 lines 84 and 85, 89, 96 and 101 Antony continues to repeat the point that Brutus is an honorable man to promote the...
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