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Compare and Contrast Brutus and Antony's speeches

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Introduction

Diana Fletcher Compare and Contrast Brutus and Antony's speeches The play "Julius Caesar" written by William Shakespeare in 1599 is based on historical information about Julius Caesar, a leader during Roman times. Shakespeare wrote it as a tragedy and tried to keep the legend and history of Caesar alive. Julius Caesar is primarily about a leader who is betrayed by his senate and one of the people he trusts the most, Brutus, who lead a conspiracy to assassinate him. The assassination occurs due to Caesar's new power and its threat to the old republican institutions. After the conspirators murder Julius Caesar, Brutus and Mark Antony, a close friend of Caesar, made speeches at Caesar's funeral. Each tries to persuade the crowd to follow their explanation concerning the death. Brutus's short speech is spoken in prose; cunning, clever and directly to the point. He starts his speech with, "Romans, Countrymen and Lovers, hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear. ...read more.

Middle

He allows them time to respond to his rhetorical question. Revealing that he cares about them and their thoughts. None are offended or argue with his words or actions. "Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any speak for them that I have offended. Who is here so rude that would not be Roman? If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply." "None, Brutus, none." Antony's longer speech however, is spoken in verse and with great irony, masterfully, touching and indirect to persuade the people that Caesar was loyal and worthy to Rome. Antony starts his speech with, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me you ears" as a faithful friend would rather than a noble leader, to gain trust. Antony cunningly in his speech praises Caesar using every bit of information he can to win the crowd. ...read more.

Conclusion

Antony claims that his heart is with Caesar and starts expressing the grief he felt by ending his speech weeping. In doing so the people see Antony as a possible successor to Caesar. The fickle crowd have already forgotten Brutus's words and are now swayed by Antony's. The crowd is incensed and want to kill the conspirators and Antony's final words cleverly through subtlety and irony allow the rampage and civil unrest that follows. " O master, it I were disposed to stir your heart and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong, Who (you all know) are honourable men, I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men." "Good Friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up to such sudden flood of mutiny." Although both Brutus and Antony spoke will and impressed the crowd, Antony's emotion and openness forced the crowd to re-examine the notion of loyalty and in doing so show how easily they can be manipulated. ...read more.

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