• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comare and contrast the ways Brutus and Mark Antony use rhetoric to persuade the fickle plebeians of Rome

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Ben Lander Compare the ways in which Brutus and Mark Antony make use of rhetoric to persuade the fickle masses Brutus and Mark Antony exemplify the use of in their manipulation of the fickle masses in Julius Caesar. After comparing and contrasting the way in which each speech causes the people of Rome to react, we can see that Mark Antony achieves the desired effect through his rhetoric, whereas Brutus is not able to manipulate the people. This is due to a number of factors, such as the fact that Brutus is noble man influenced by a malcontent in Cassius, leaving him out of touch with the people, whereas Antony, a physical specimen of masculinity and a great ally of Caesar, possesses the emotion to turn the people. Although Mark Antony?s use of rhetoric is more effective than that of Brutus, both men are able to influence the fickle masses. ...read more.


Rhetorical questioning is another device used my Antony and Brutus as an attempt to sway the fickle masses. Both men do this so that the plebeians will become unsure of their allegiance; to the conspirators or Caesar and Antony? Brutus asks, ?had you rather Caesar was living, and die all slaves, than to live all free men?? This is rhetorical as he is making the assumption for the crowd that if Caesar still ruled the people would become his slaves. Antony uses rhetorical device to de-validate the point being made in Brutus?s argument. He states ?For I did present him the kingly crown thrice, for which he did thrice refuse? He uses rhetorical device when he asks to the crowd ?was this ambition?? Firstly there is an obvious answer to the question, as an ambitious man would take any power offered. ...read more.


Brutus, however, once again appeals to the nationalistic side of the people. He states that he ?slew my best lover for the sake of Rome.? As an attempt to gain hero?s status from the crowd, proving that he would sacrifice anything in order to save his country. While Mark Antony?s use of pathos creates more emotion amongst the fickle masses, both men create enough pathos so as to endear themselves to the people. Shakespeare makes many connections between performance and politics in Julius Caesar. As all plebeians were uneducated, their political opinions had much to do with the emotion that they felt when being spoken to by the more educated people of Rome. Thus, both men were required to use the techniques described above as an attempt to connect with the fickle masses on a personal level, making these uses of rhetoric as much about performance and putting on a show than political strategy, as is still the case in some countries around the globe in these modern times. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Julius Caesar section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Julius Caesar essays

  1. Why is Mark Antony's Speech so Effective in Persuading his Audience?

    " Marc Anthony's speech calls for a dramatic pause, where he stops to 'regain his heart.' This line, however, is no more than a strategic and shrewdly placed break, where Anthony forces the crowd to decide if they are truly persuaded by his speech or not.

  2. Marc Antony 'Machiavellian schemer'

    bloody hands, to show them he was together with them in their conspiracy. However, once Antony is left on his own on stage, we see his feelings of guilt towards his behavior; his love for Caesar, as well as his own plot to make sure all hell will soon break loose in order to avenge the death of Caesar (3.1.263-276).

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Brutus in 'Julius Caesar'.

    This decision is based highly on philosophical principles rather than practical, political or military necessity; a dangerous mistake in view of the later coming to power of Antony. Brutus' final lack of judgement and greatest mistake however, comes about in act IV, scene II, where he foolishly tries to convince

  2. "How is Brutus portrayed as a tragic hero?"

    To finalise Brutus' "tragic hero" status, the last component was to have the character die a dramatic death. As most people in Shakespeare's lifetime where in the age where they began to appreciate the lifestyles and arts of Ancient Rome, they were well aware of the battle standards and were

  1. "The rise of Octavian owed more to luck, and the mistakes of his enemies, ...

    Despite his intentions however, 'his honour and interest were concerned in revenging the murder of his uncle, 7' upon arrival Cassius and Brutus had wisely left Italy, but Antony was still in Rome, displaying his uncanny knack for offending the senate to such an extent that Cicero was said to

  2. CharactersJulius Caesar: The victorious leader of Rome, it is the fear that he may ...

    It is he who gathers those against Caesar around him and it is Cassius who carefully manipulates Brutus to their cause by appealing to Brutus' sense of civic duty which believes that Caesar as a King would be bad for the people of Rome and by Cassius' clever use of forged letters.

  1. As previously said, Brutus was a close friend of Caesars; however he joined the ...

    was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him." This is said to get the message across again that he dearly loved Caesar and that he respected him in all ways, but ambition got a grab of Caesar

  2. What opinion of the character of Brutus have you formed from your reading of ...

    It's clear that Brutus agrees to join the conspiracy out of love, while all the others join to achieve personal and selfish motives. Another major feature in Brutus' character is his ignorance of the human nature. He can't predict how people would act.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work