The Logical Victory Of Brutus In Hist Speech

848 words - 4 pages

It has been said fighting fire with fire only leaves both parties burned. Human emotions have the strength of fire; consequently, emotion can damage many souls if left to burn. At the funeral of Caesar, Brutus is aware the crowd is burning with passion and mistrust and strategically chooses to fight their raging emotions with soothing logic. This choice defines Brutus' speech. Even though he had the disadvantage of going first and the crowd ultimately sided against him, Brutus's speech managed to best Antony's in the areas of Ethos, Parallelism/repetition, and logos.
From the beginning of his speech, Brutus makes it clear that he is trustworthy and should be listened to. "...believe me for mine honor, and have respect to my honor..." he pleads to a confused and angry crowd (3.2.15-16). He continues by making appeals to those who love Caesar, saying that he and Caesar were good friends. He uses his own reputation to strengthen the bond of trust between himself and the crowd. Meanwhile, Antony only makes himself trustworthy by associating himself with Brutus and the conspirators. "Here under leave of Brutus and the rest..." he mentions in the opening of his speech, siphoning off of the trust recently created between Brutus and the crowd (3.2.80). After that line, he simply goes on to glorify his dead friend, turning the ethos created by Brutus onto himself and severing the connection the crowd had with the former. If the roles had been reversed and Antony had gone first, one would find no reason to trust Antony, making Brutus the uncontested best at employing ethos.
Being that Brutus bases his speech on logic and trust, it would make sense that he does a better job at parallelism and repetition, due to the fact that this technique can induce the listener to think logically. He frequently uses it to get his point across and make sure the crowd is following his thinking. In lines 24-28 he explains himself: "as he was valiant, I honor him. But, as he was ambitious, I slew him"(3.2.27-28). He goes to great lengths to be sure that the crowd understands his reasoning, using well placed parallelism. Antony handles the repetition aspect, but does so poorly. Though some intelligent citizens may grasp the double meaning in his constant iteration of "...Brutus is an honorable man", others become confused and only support Antony when he mentions the obscure will of...

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