The influential power behind words is often forgotten or misused, but when put together in a harmonious way; one’s words have the power to change the world. Anywhere from ancient Roman times to modern day America, public speaking has been an art form many have mastered and used for persuasive purposes. The most successful and effective of speeches often times have clear indications of the speaker’s motivation, approach, and purpose. These themes are very blatantly portrayed in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, as well as the famous speech of the great Martin Luther King Jr.
Brutus’ speech at Caesar’s funeral is said in order the people of Rome, to better understand why the blood of ...view middle of the document...
However, Mark Antony’s speech follows Brutus’ and the crowds, being the fickle Romans they are, are swayed against Brutus and the conspirators. The effectiveness of Brutus’ speech is great, but short-lived.
Mark Antony had multiple speeches throughout Act two. His first monologue was to convince the conspirators to let him give a speech at Caesar’s funeral, after Brutus gives his justification of why he killed Caesar. Antony tells the traitors that he will not speak ill of them. The conspirators make the mistake of granting him the permission. Antony uses this opportunity to sway the citizens to his corner.
Antony loved and respected Caesar and wants the bloodshed of all the conspirators. The Romans loved Caesar as well; they saw him as a sacred soul, above everyone else. Antony is infuriated and wants revenge when his beloved Caesar is assassinated; in order to be sure a civil war ensues, Mark Antony manipulates the people’s thoughts. Through his speeches he digs at the citizens’ feelings of guilt and sorrow lurking in their conscience. Antony knows the people respect him, and they know he is a distinguished general mix with the resentment of the conspirators, and the rage will blind the justification given by Brutus. This lethal combination is the perfect recipe for inciting a civil war.
Mark Antony uses pathos; his speeches were very passionate, striking the listeners’ feelings toward Caesar and Rome. In Antony’s first speech to the people, he degrades the murderers with a bit of sarcasm, “Brutus is an honorable man so are they all honorable men,” (82). Antony praises Caesar’s image and deeds; telling the citizens Caesar loved them and would have remained loyal to Rome. He makes the people think, why would anyone want to kill Caesar, for he was a great leader. Brutus described Caesar as ambitious and Antony uses this exact word in his favor against the Conspirators, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” (82).
Antony also uses reverse psychology, bringing up Caesar’s will and discarding it quickly, which exposes humans’ natural greed, “Let but the commoners hear the testament, which pardon me I don’t mean to read,” (84). Antony takes advantage of their narrow minds and gullibility, by pointing out specific wounds and naming the person who inflicted it. Posing as if he knew who did what. This enrages the citizens and brought pity to their heart for Caesar and Antony. After Antony brainwashes the people into resenting the assassins, there is a sense of nationalism. The Roman people now want to display their loyalty and seek vengeance for the blood spilt from their beloved leader.
Mark Antony’s speech is...