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As Brutus begins his speech to the people they obviously want to listen to him

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Assessing Mark Antony's speech to the crowd in William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" The first half of the play has built up to the assassination of Caesar by the conspirators led by Brutus. At the beginning of the play, when the citizens of Rome love Caesar he is giving a speech to the Romans and everything seems fine but in the background in the out courts the plays audience witness Cassius' attempts to begin to get Brutus on the side of the conspirators who want to assassinate Caesar. Whilst talking to Cassius, Brutus accidentally says aloud "If it aught toward the general good, Set honour in one eye and death I' th' other, will look good on both indifferently". This is all the encouragement that Cassius needs and carries on flattering Brutus to make him a conspirator too. And so Brutus spends months despairing whether or not to join the conspirators, which leads up to his soliloquy in the middle of his orchard on the morning of the ides of march the day that a soothsayer has warned Caesar about. Brutus is in the orchard because he cannot sleep and takes the time out to think over his options with regards to the assassination of Caesar, his servant gives Brutus a letter of petition from the people of Rome saying that they want rid of Caesar, we hear his choice in his soliloquy, "It must be by his death" conceding that Caesar's death is for the good of Rome and that it is best that he join the conspirators also. ...read more.


Brutus finishes his speech and pleads his adoring crowd to stay and listen to Antony "not a man depart, save I alone, till Antony have spoke". As Antony starts his speech it is clear that he is struggling to make them listen to him. He tries to align himself with the crowd calling them "friends", "countrymen" and "Romans". He assures the anti-Caesar crowd that Caesar is not to be praised calling Brutus an "honourable man", but goes on to try and disprove Brutus' claims that Caesar's ambition. "He brought many captives home to Rome whose ransoms did the general coffers fill?" in roman times prisoners of war were freed upon receiving ransoms, the ransom money gained by Caesar was put into public funding. He asks the rhetorical question of "did this in Caesar seem ambitious?" Still trying to contradict Brutus h moves to a second point trying to persuade the crowd that Caesar was not ambitious "when the poor hath cried, Caesar hath wept" he pauses briefly then claims that "ambition should have been made of sterner stuff ". After each point Antony makes he goes on to call Brutus an "honourable man" just to try and convince the crowd that he is on Brutus' side, however, as we go further into his speech the term "honourable man" is said more and more ironically. Antony goes on to make his third and final point trying to convince the crowd that Caesar was not actually ambitious, he reminds the crowd that at the "Lupercol" Caesar was presented the crown three times which "he did thrice refuse". ...read more.


The final straw for the Romans is that Caesar was to give everyone 75 drachmas each. Antony finishes off his speech with a rhetorical question "here was a Caesar! When will come such another?" Left alone on the stage, Antony is left triumphant and smug at his achievement. The first person to talk to Antony is Octavius Caesar's servant telling Antony that Octavius had come to Rome. Antony is pleased by this news and everything appears to be going his way when he is told that Brutus and Cassius had been run out of Rome he says it is to do with how "I have moved the crowd". The effect that Antony has had on the crowd is that a mob kills Cinna the poet just for having the same name as a conspirator. Antony seizes power at the first opportunity he gets, he tells Octavius that they should get rid of Lepidus and make the three way split they had planned a two way split this shows how very ambitious Antony is. At the end of the play Antony finds the body of Brutus on the battle field, he stands over it and claims that Brutus was "the noblest roman of them all" this shows his true respect for Brutus and admitting all along he knew Brutus did what was right for Rome in his heart and shows how devious and manipulative Antony was to the crowd. ...read more.

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