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Compare the speeches made to the citizens by Brutus and Antony after Caesars death.

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Introduction

Question: Compare the speeches made to the citizens by Brutus and Antony after Caesars death. After Caesar has been assassinated, at the foot of Pompeys' statue, in Act 3 scene 1, Brutus agrees to allow Mark Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral on the condition that he speaks second and that he says nothing blaming the conspirators. Brutus's speech is rather short compared with Antony's, only 350 words as against nearly 1,100 words. Brutus uses prose whereas Antony uses blank verse which is much more effective in stirring up the crowds emotions. Brutus taking to the pulpit first has the advantage of a fairly undecided crowd whose opinions can be easily swayed. Brutus is well liked by the people of Rome and has a reputation for being an honourable and honest man. In his speech he explains to the citizens why he took the action he did. He believes wholeheartedly that what he did was right and expects the crowd to agree with him. After his speech he has definitely achieved at least temporary support of the crowd who all shout: "Live Brutus, live, live!" ...read more.

Middle

By coming to the conclusion that Caesar was not ambitious and the thought being tied in so closely with that of Brutus being an honourable man Antony is making the crowd doubt this fact too. Brutus's arguments are either purely speculative or in some cases completely irrelevant. "Who is here so vile that will not love his country?" During Brutus's speech the crowd accept what he is saying without really thinking that deeply about it. When they hear Antony's arguments however, and come to their own conclusions about whether or not Caesar's murder was just, they start feeling very passionately. Antony reads his audience very well. Towards the end of the first of the four sections of his speech Antony gains their sympathy by appearing overcome with emotion and having to take a break. This is a clever device. It allows the crowd to talk amongst themselves, which further stirs up their feelings and it also allows Antony to gauge the effect he is having on them. Brutus does not give the crowd any time to talk together, only a brief moment in which to answer his question. ...read more.

Conclusion

The effect is explosive and the crowd start crying out for revenge. Antony continues to manipulate the crowd and direct their thoughts in a very subtle way. He tells them that if he was a man like Brutus he would encourage them to mutiny. The crowd are ready to do this but Antony stops them, reminding them of the will. When they are told of Caesar's generosity it pushes them over the edge and they are determined to avenge his death. Antony has done what he set out to do which he displays in this soliloquy: "Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot: Take thou what course thou wilt." In comparison to Antony's stirring funeral oration the speech Brutus gives seems quite artless. Antony tells the crowd: "I am no orator, as Brutus is, But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man" This is obviously not true. Antony's words are always engaged with the feelings of his audience and he uses rhetoric skilfully as opposed to Brutus's rather contrived and less effective use of it. Antony's speech affected the hearts and minds of the listeners and made a lasting impression on them. Max Carter 10C - Mr Potter - English GCSE Coursework - Julius Caesar ...read more.

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