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Compare and contrast the speeches made by Brutus and Antony over the body of Caesar.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the speeches made by Brutus and Antony over the body of Caesar. Explain the ways in which Shakespeare exploits language for dramatic effect exploring the reactions of the crowd on stage and of the spectator watching theplay. "Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!" So claims Cinna as Caesar is fallen. Brutus his trusty friend killed for Rome while Cassius his jealous counterpart killed over hate. The conspirators brought his body to the market place to show the people. Over the corpse, two speeches were made. In this essay I will compare and contrast these two speeches. Both of the speeches have similar have similar beginnings. Brutus starts off with "Romans, countrymen and lovers!" He starts with "Romans", because in his eyes he feels his country is more important then his lovers, Caesar. He realises how much the crowd feel pride in their country, so manipulates their weak spot, in the hope that they will see his point of reason. This type of language is formal and elaborate, and he speaks as though he is talking to the senate. Antony, however, begins with "Friends, Romans, countrymen" By calling the crowd his friends, he is considering himself as though he is on their level, rather than elevating himself like Brutus. Through this, familiar and direct language, the crowd feels closer to Antony, because they realise that it is like speaking to their friend, rather than speaking to the senate, the way Brutus makes it. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, Antony's speech is constantly progressing, because he states the clear facts, as they appear to stand and elevates Caesar by mentioning his numerous achievements for example swelling the coffers of Rome, and looking after the poor. This type of style is the one used to speak to the senate, not to the common rank and file people, not to the common rank and file people, and for this reason he is not as effective as Antony, who is placatory and soothing. Antony's oratory is subtle, and gets straight to the point. These little differences all influence the crowd, and consequently they are all whipped up into an outrage once he has finished speaking. Another important element to be taken into consideration about Antony's speech, is that he manages to slowly but surely influence the crowd without his opinions being necessarily right, and all this is the consequence of his understanding of what make the crowd tick, the crowd psychology. Both speakers bring facts into their speeches, but in different ways. Brutus is very presumptuous when he says that if Caesar would've been allowed to live, he would have enslaved them all, and often claiming that Caesar was very ambitious. Antony uses facts in a clever way. He emphasises the facts, for example Caesar not appearing to be ambitious, and through this, he makes Brutus look a fool by making it seem obvious that Caesar had no ambition. ...read more.

Conclusion

Antony's use of questions is to strengthen the fact that Caesar had no ambition at all. He repeats "Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?" so many times that we are convinced Caesar had no ambition. The questions he asks are the ones that are possible to be answered by the crowd, and although this may seem a bit hazardous, he is still controlling the thoughts of the crowd, and convincing them to agree with him. Throughout his speech Antony appears overwhelmed with emotion, and he does this to make sure that the conspirators did not get away with this murder, but we know, he wasn't just upset, but very angry, so much so that when he was alone on the stage he said that "Mothers shall but smile when they behold Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war" And also "Let slip the dogs of war" so we see that he wanted there to be a civil war, because of his extreme anger over Caesar's death. The crucial distinction between the two speeches, are that Antony has a clear understanding of the crowd psychology, and persuade the crowd to see his notion very easily because of this. Brutus does not understand what makes the crowd tick, and this characteristic is clearly the most important feature of making Antony's speech so effective, and Brutus' an unconvincing, ineffective, dire address. 1739 Words ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Haffner Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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