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A Comparative Study of the Two Funeral Speeches from Act II, Scene II of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

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Introduction

David Pearce A Comparative Study of the Two Funeral Speeches from Act II, Scene II of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. In this essay I will be examining the two funeral speeches from the play "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare. Additionally I will be anlysing the content of each. The funeral Speeches are made by Brutus and Mark Antony, both for the Caesars funeral. I will quickly summerise the events that have happened leading up to Caesar's death. Caesar had recently killed Pompey, the previous leader of Rome, so he was soon to be crowned king. Cassius becomes worried that when Caesar does become leader of Rome, he will bring it to its knees because he doesn't know how to rule properly. Cassius decides to make a conspiracy against Caesar, and begins to persuade people to join it. He manages to recruit Casca, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, Decius Brutus, Trebonius and Caius Ligarus. Cassius powers of persuasion even manage to get Brutus, Caesar's longest and dearest friend to join. Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, tells Caesar of a dream she had. She tells him she had seen a statue of him, with blood pouring out of it's cracks, which Roman Citizens where washing their hands in. Caesar becomes uneasy about this vision, but Decius tells him it was a vision of fortune. ...read more.

Middle

In his speech, he implies that only intelligent, sensible people will support his reasons for killing Caesar: Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses. Page 93, Line 15. Brutus implicates that only intelligent, sensible people will support his reasons. Brutus manages to get the crowd's symphony by saying that he loved Caesar, daring the people to find anyone who loved Caesar more. Brutus declares that he never wronged Caesar, daring the people to find anyone who loved him more. Brutus declares that he never wronged Caesar, that he cried for Caesar's love, was happy for his greatness, honored him for his courage, but had to kill him because of Caesar's ambition. He says that the reason for killing Caesar was his great love for Rome. He states: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Page 93, Lines 19-20. He then asks rhetorically is the people would want to live their lives as slaves under Caesar's rule or would they prefer to live as freemen with Caesar dead. To anymore insulted by his speech he wonders if, as Romans who love their freedom, they would be offended or reject what he, Brutus, says. He poses the question, "Who is here so base that would be a bondman?" ...read more.

Conclusion

Brutus does not use any props in his speech, which shows us how much he underestimates Mark Antony. Instead, he overuses emotional blackmail to win over the crowd. Throughout his speech, Mark Antony pauses. He does this to show the crowd how much he has been hurt by Caesars death (showing emotional grief) and to give the crowd time to absorb the important points he has made. Again, this shows us that he has thought deeply on how to win over the crowd. What really Mark Antonys speech so great is that when he started the crowd was almost totally against him, and had no interest in listening to him. The only reason they listen to him is because Brutus told them to do so. He has managed to win over the crowd from almost impossible odds, which shows that he knows the Roman Citizens better than Brutus does. In conclusion, it is clear that both speeches try to appeal to the people, and both use repetition, but Brutus takes a defensive approach, leaving the people to their own conclusions. However, Antony takes a prosecuting approach against Brutus because he backs up statements, while Brutus leaves his statements more open-ended. I prefer Mark Antony's speech more as the people seem to find it easier to accept him. He is an emotional and sincere speaker, rather than Brutus who appears more arrogant and forceful. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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