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Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony. Which is more effective and why?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony. Which is more effective and why? When Brutus goes up to speak to the crowd he appeals to them as ?Romans? before all else. As this keeps with his reason for joining the conspiracy the audience can see that he is honourable and trustworthy. The roman public may also know this because they hail him as ?noble? Brutus and Brutus also asks them at the start of his speech to ?Believe me for mine honour?. Brutus repeatedly uses ?honour? throughout his speech as a way to gain trust from the crowds. Another way he may have been trying to gain trust is by imitating Caesar by speaking in the third person; ?I say that Brutus? love to Caesar was no less than his?. It could also be a way of showing the people that he is just as noble as Caesar. ...read more.

Middle

This act of self-sacrifice is very emotional and echoes Casca?s description of Caesar offering his life to the crowd. As Brutus leaves the stage he emphasizes that Antony will be speaking by ?our permission?. By entrusting the crowd to Antony and naively believing that Antony will honour the spirit of their agreement Brutus makes a fatal error of judgement which costs him all of his power in Rome. Without having to speak first, Antony manages to upstage Brutus simply by entering with Caesars? body. Though he wasn?t present for Brutus? stirring speech he shapes his own speech to complement it and to destroy all the effects that Brutus had so brilliantly achieved. While Brutus had appealed to the audience?s civic pride as romans and to its sense of logic, Antony works to undermine his grand ideas by controlling the crowds? emotions. Where Brutus had begun with ?Romans?, Antony begins with ?Friends?. This makes him create the feeling that he, the crowd and the dead Caesar are all close friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

By descending to the level of the crowd, Antony manages to triumph both Brutus and Caesar. Caesar had swooned when he got close to them; Brutus had stayed aloft in the pulpit; but Antony enters their ring and draws us all, the Romans and theatre audience alike, into his intimate revelation of the bloody treason done to Caesar. He drops all pretence now and says that that when Caesar fell ?Then I, and you, and all of us fell down.? The crowd starts weeping with Antony and transform into avengers. ?Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fore! Kill! Slay! They are intent on destroying anything (shown in the next scene) and Antony has unleashed a force which effectively sweeps him into power. The mood set is frightening enough but when Antony stops calling them ?you? and refers cynically to ?them? instead we in the audience are suddenly shocked and shamed. We had been drawn into We had been drawn into his conspiracy. We had been part of the crowd, listening to Antony with a mixture of awe and delight at the brilliance of his rhetoric and theatrical skill. ...read more.

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