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Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony. How would a director advise the actors on playing these roles?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony. How would a director advise the actors on playing these roles? Firstly, Brutus decides to make his speech first, which is a bog mistake, because the plebians will only really remember the last speech that was made, thus making Brutus' speech less effective. Brutus would usually speak in a verse language, but in his speech he spoke in prose, to try and come down to the plebians level and he thinks that they will appreciate that. However, Antony speaks as he should, in verse and the plebians respect that and expect him to speak like that, so as soon Antony starts his speech, they already like it more than Brutus'. Also the first sentence of each speech is significant. Brutus starts his speech with "Romans, countrymen and lovers!". This is a great start to the speech because it shows how Brutus is equal to the plebians, and the plebians like to think that they are equal to someone as great as Brutus, and therefore are on Brutus' side. ...read more.

Middle

So when Antony asks this question, it questions them whether he really was as good as they thought? He then challenges Brutus' speech by saying "yet Brutus says he was ambitious". This challenges whether Brutus was right in what he said, and makes the plebians think twice about whether to believe him. Brutus' speech is trying to persuade the plebians to be on his side, and to make them agree with what he says, by using rhetorical questions. Antony's, however, is to make them question whether Brutus was right.. He repeats himself a lot, saying that Brutus is an honourable man. This may seem that he is praising him a lot, but actually, by repeating it, he is taking the meaning out of it. So when the plebians first here him say it, they agree with him that Brutus is honourable, but after the last time he says it (which is a lot of times) they almost get sick of him saying that and start to disagree with the fact that Brutus is honourable, and therefore turning on Brutus. ...read more.

Conclusion

He tells them to prepare to cry, even though some already are. He trails where the blood was, describing his death. This makes the plebians really emotional, and makes them want to kill Brutus. They all shout to kill Brutus, but Antony stops them and tells them to stay. This part of the speech is very clever by Antony, as it turns them on Brutus, and makes them love him. Overall his speech is a lot more effective than Brutus'. Brutus' was effective at the time, but it didn't have a cutting edge to it. The fact that Antony went last also didn't help, because now the plebians will only remember his, and forget about Brutus'. A director would tell Brutus to play the role as if Brutus were very confident. This is because he thinks he has gotten away with it, and that he has won the plebians over. He also has no idea that Antony will make such a good speech after him, he thinks that it will be a speech that will praise Brutus. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Fiske 10Gr English Coursework ...read more.

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