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Comapring The Speeches Of Mark Antony And Brutus In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

2132 words - 9 pages

Comapring the Speeches of Mark Antony and Brutus in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

The play 'Julius Caesar' reaches a peak of tension at the point of the
two speeches, and so it would seem whichever speech was enjoyed more
by the crowd would make the speaker the more popular. This was in fact
the case in the play. Mark Antony used better techniques of speech
than Brutus and he prevailed in the end.

After the conspirators have killed Caesar, Brutus agrees to let Antony
perform a speech, which Brutus thought would be a eulogy. Antony's
speech would be after Brutus' and Brutus hoped that the crowd would
understand his reasons, though this was secondary to his hope of a
better Rome. We know that Brutus is respected by the audience, and is
someone who the audience will give their time to. He was an
established and well-loved member of the Roman society. The crowd say
"We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied," which I understand as the
crowd saying tell us your reasons, you will tell us. Another citizen
goes on to say "I will hear Brutus speak" which gives an example of
the tolerance by the crowd towards Brutus, despite the fact he has
killed their ruler, they still are willing to go along with him,
provided they agree with his reasoning. The final quotation of
tolerance towards Brutus is "The noble Brutus is ascended. Silence!"
which shows they have respect for him, they call him noble, and a
citizen tells the crowd to be silent, to give Brutus a chance to
speak. Brutus now goes on to explain himself and tries to persuade the
crowd to agree with him and Cassius. This speech enthrals the crowd
for some time, despite the fact that they do not fully understand the
meaning of his speech and his reasons for performing the deeds he had
performed. The crowd look more to his techniques of speech than to his
content, as Brutus speaks down to them and speaks in a tone and manner
which suggests that he is of a higher intellect than they are, making
himself impossible to understand for the largely un-educated crowd.
However, while Brutus does talk down to the crowd, he clearly tries to
compliment them as he goes along. He says "Censure me in your wisdom",
implying that the crowd members have wisdom to offer. This would make
the crowd like Brutus more, and would be the first part of swaying
them onto his side. We also see that Brutus wants, and is, in control
of the situation at all times, he says, "He comes the body, mourned by
Mark Antony" as if he was in control of that occurrence. He makes sure
it does not appear that anything is happening that he does not want to
happen.

We see throughout the speech of Brutus the use of rhetoric. He says,
"Who here is so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak,
for him I have offended. I pause for a reply", which of course gets no
...

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