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Comparing the Speeches of Brutus and Antony.

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Introduction

Comparing the Speeches of Brutus and Antony In Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar', Brutus and Mark Antony both talk about Julius Caesar, each using a different style and approach to sway the opinion of the crowd about Julius Caesar as a person. Brutus' argument is from a more critical point of view, where his speech tried to sway the people by attempting to justify the conspiracy against Caesar. He states that Caesar's ambition would destroy Rome and rob the Roman citizens of their freedom. His speech ends in an ironic fashion, as he hoped that the crowd would understand that his actions were for the good of Rome. Instead, the crowd wanted to make him the leader of Rome, which he didn't want himself to be. In Antony's speech, he focuses on Caesar's more positive qualities, slyly disproving Brutus' justification for killing Caesar. The Roman citizens waver between both men, responding emotionally, rather than intellectually, to them. As a director, I would want this scene to be as exciting as possible for the audience, and I will do this by carrying on the momentum of the play even after Caesar's assassination, by using the tension and the highly dramatic details of this scene. Also, I will give it a dramatic touch, by changing the tone and movement of the characters. In Brutus's funeral speech, there are key phrases of the speech and for maximum dramatic effect: Brutus seeks to explain why he conspired against Caesar. ...read more.

Middle

He asks the question, "Who is here so base that would be a bondman?" He adds emphasis to the point, saying, "If any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply." This allows them to respond to his rhetorical questions, giving them an even greater sense that he cares about them and their opinions. They respond, " None, Brutus, none." This will again persuade the audience to agree with Brutus'. Mark Antony's speech uses a completely different approach. He begins with the words "Friends, Romans, countrymen", I would put emphasis on "friends" in contrast to Brutus's beginning word as "Romans", telling them that honouring a friendship is more important than anything else, opposing Brutus's speech almost immediately. He then says, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." This gives him the ability to praise Caesar without the crowd stopping him. Antony should say this in a sad way, to gain sympathy from the audience. When Antony first uses the phrase: "For Brutus is an honourable man", he should pause afterwards briefly, but longer than he would usually do. After this, he says: "So are they all, all honourable men", but in this sentence, Antony should put emphasis on both "alls" in the sentence. This begins Antony's interpretation of the word 'honourable', as he will continue to do throughout the rest of his speech, so that the audience can recognise the sarcasm in the way he uses it. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Antony says-"O masters, if I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong", he first attempts to flatter the audience, by calling them his masters. Also, he plants the thought in their heads to mutiny and rage. He says that he would be doing Cassius and Brutus wrong if he asked them to mutiny, but he cleverly does it without anyone knowing. In this sentence, I would make Antony emphasize "O masters" so that subliminally, the audience are flattered by Antony. He should also say "mutiny" and "rage" louder, to stick those words into the audience's head. With my directing of Antony, the audience will be swayed to him by his dramatics, his underhanded way of making a point, his repetition, and compelling proof of Caesar's concern. He is able to get the people to question the rightness of killing Caesar. He has planted doubt in the people's minds, in all areas except that he, Antony, is, "poor soul", an honourable man. The difference between the speeches shows us the importance of the style of speech. Both try to appeal to the people of Rome, but Brutus takes a defensive approach, leaving the people to come to their own conclusions. However, Antony takes a prosecuting approach against Brutus, so sneaky that it is almost subliminal. The people seem to find it easier to accept Antony, an emotional speaker, over Brutus, who appears arrogant and forceful. Assad Rizvi 10SM English coursework DR ...read more.

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