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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 effects, exploring both the reactions of the crowd on stage and of the spectator who is watching the play. Brutus and Antony have made speeches over the body of Caesar whom Brutus killed. Shakespeare makes Brutus sound as if he's an honorable, loving, peaceful man, and Antony like a sly conceited revengeful man. Antony is a man who seeks revenge over Caesar's body and plunge Italy into civil war, ''that mother shall but smile when they behold their infant's quarter'd with the hands of war.'' But he seeks silence from the crowd and for them to listen to him. Brutus' aim in his speech was to make the crowd understand why he had killed Caesar 'not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Brutus uses three ways in which to address the crowd first he starts off by saying ''Romans, countrymen, and lovers'' what he means by saying this is, he thinks of them as ...read more.

Middle

Antony also uses three main ways in his speech to get the crowd to agree with him. The first is ''friends,Romans,countrymen'' in a similar way to what Brutus said but didn't have the same thing in mind. Antony said ''friends'' in a way that the crowd would think that it was directed at them but really it was directed to Caesars dead body. The second is when he says ''lend me your ears'' as if to say he wants silence and for them to side with him not just with their ears. The third way in which he addresses the crowd which is similar to what Brutus did was to say at the end ''and I must pause till it come back to me.'' Antony says this to make the people really think that he was so attached to Caesar that he couldn't bear it and had to "wait" before he could say anything else, and the crowd believed him and went against Brutus whom they'd just said that they should 'give him a statue with his ancestors.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The spectator knows and remembers what happened before unlike the crowd who isn't supposed to remember what happened before in the play, which is one of Shakespeare's methods in making the crowd look stupid and fickle. Antony's speech like Brutus' was made to get the crowd to listen to their reasoning and agree with it, but Antony's had a more forbidding effect, which was to incite the crowd against Brutus and to bring civil war to Italy. Shakespeare uses the language from both speeches to show how language can be twisted; like in Antony's speech he used irony when he carried on saying that Brutus was an honorable man until he is almost asking it. In Brutus' speech Shakespeare asks rhetorical questions to the crowd ''Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?'' Shakespeare uses more explicit language in Brutus' Speech than in Antony's; in Antony's speech he uses irony more than open language to incite the crowd against Brutus. ...read more.

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