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Comparing Brutus and Antony’s Speech

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Introduction

Steven Vu Tiffin Got a A- Comparing Brutus and Antony's Speech Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. The play, written in 1599 was written at a time when Elizabeth was on the throne and mirrors the politics at the time. The play is based on some true facts taken from Plutarch's books. It is a story about a few of Julius' closest friends betraying him for what they thought was for the good of their country. When we look at the speeches of Antony and Brutus, they tell us a lot not only about the characters, but the play in itself. The speeches demonstrate a lot of skills and tricks, formally known as the use of rhetoric. The speeches differ in many ways, their style, structure and techniques all have their own individual attributes. Antony, Caesar's close adviser and only one of a minority that opposed the conspirators, had to deliver a speech, under many provisions, which would convince the Romans that Julius' death was unjust. Brutus, the adopted son of Julius, was one of the main conspirators who killed Julius because he would rather save Rome than his friend. He too had to deliver a speech to the Romans which he hoped would make them understand why Julius had to die. They both had different reasons and purposes for their speech; Brutus had to convince everyone that Caesar's death was just and inevitable whilst Antony, on the other hand, needed to do the opposite and convince the public that Caesar's murder was immoral and that the conspirators had to pay for the deed. ...read more.

Middle

In this sentence Brutus is giving the crowd a mental ultimatum, as nearly all the crowd were slaves or subjects of Caesar all the crowd would have agreed with Brutus, the sentence is also very clear and balanced with only two opinions the crowd could choose from, "Caesar were living, and die all slaves," or "Caesar were dead, to live all freeman," The speech is written in prose and gives it a more formal unbiased rhythm. The crowd however do not understand the speech fully and want Brutus to be like Caesar when the whole speech was about not having too much ambition. The pause in the speech is for Brutus to assess how his speech has been received by the plebeians, they comment on his speech and it shows Brutus the outcome of his work, it also lets Brutus know whether to say anything else after the speech which may jeopardise the minds of the crowd. Directly after the speech the crowd hail him as a hero and the next Caesar, which was not the response which Brutus was looking for, nevertheless it was positive, it does not mean much however as they haven't heard Antonys' speech. Antony's speech is vastly different from Brutus' and in many ways is more complex, where Brutus tries to persuade the crowd by trying to talk to them about honour, patriotism and history Antonys' speech is more emotional, by being emotional it manages to be more powerful and stir the crowd. ...read more.

Conclusion

this is called known as negatio, this causes the plebeians to really want to know what was in the will and encourages them to mutiny, only when they are nearly out of control he tells them what is on the will, at this point the crowd is so motivated be Antony that it has forgotten all about the will. Antony uses reverse psychology, "have patience," by saying this it makes the crowd want to hear the will impatiently, causing the effect Antony intended. Antonys speech is written in verse rather than prose to give an informal approach than Brutus' so that the crowd can associate to what he is saying. Antony and Brutus both delivered a captivating speech, they differed however in many ways, this was evident by the outcome of each speech, it shows though, that the crowd easily fall for some rhetoric tricks which both Antony and Brutus use. It can be seen the crowd are not completely aware of what is being said, such as when the crowd mistake Brutus for wanting Caesars position when he did not. Brutus' speech ultimately was not as well-written as Antony, this was why they mutinied, Brutus however had a harder message to put across. After the end of Brutus' speech the crowd have agreed with there allegiance with Brutus, but after the end of Antonys' he has turned their whole minds away from that and has turned them against Brutus. This ultimately shows the fickle minds of the crowd. ...read more.

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