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How does Stuart Burge's production of "Julius Caesar" dramatise the rhetorical effect of Brutus' and Antony's speeches in Act 3 Scene 2? Why is this scene dramatically important to the play as a whole?

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Introduction

How does Stuart Burge's production of "Julius Caesar" dramatise the rhetorical effect of Brutus' and Antony's speeches in Act 3 Scene 2? Why is this scene of dramatically important to the play as a whole? In Act 3 Scene 2, two very dramatic speeches are made by Brutus and Antony. In this scene, Brutus makes a speech trying to reason with the citizens and also to convince them that Caesar was a tyrant. In Antony's speech, he tries to reverse Brutus' persuasive speech by undermining him and reasons for his actions. Antony does this by cunningly leading the Romans to rage and mutiny. This scene is the most significant in the play because it is very dramatic for both Brutus and Antony. Brutus divides his speech into a series of rules and conventions of Rhetoric. He divides them into 5 steps. The Beginning the purpose of which is to prepare the audience with interest. This is then followed by the Exposition in which informs the audience on topics, deeds and events. The Explanation comes next and tells the audience about the purpose of the case and the Argument is to support the speaker's case. The Final Flourish is the conclusion. I think that this is a good way to make a speech because it is very well structured and easy to understand and follow because the citizens were mainly uneducated. ...read more.

Middle

I think that this speech worked well because the responses from the citizens seemed like he managed to persuade them because they are vulnerable. Antony makes his speech straight after Brutus. The citizens have already made up their mind of what they think of Caesar. "Caesar was a tyrant" shows us this. The significant factor of Antony's speech is that he speaks in blank verse which is commonly used with the higher status. Antony starts off by saying "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" This seems quite ironic because Brutus starts off his speech very similarly. During this speech Antony uses persuasive tactics to win the citizens over and also to undermine Brutus. Some of the persuasion techniques Antony uses are repetition, lies, rhetorical questions and teasing. Antony uses repetition by repeating "Brutus is an honourable man" quite a lot to undermine him. The repetition makes it ironic. Antony also tells lies. "I come to bury Caesar's body, not to praise him" "I speak not to disapprove what Brutus has said" He does this to win the crowd over and to appear to be well meaning and also to win trust and to hide his true motives. Rhetorical questions are used a few times as well. He says "Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?" and "Was this ambitious?" ...read more.

Conclusion

"He would be crown'd how that might change his nature, there's the question" This shows how Brutus acted out of the best intentions. Further evidence of this is that "Brutus is not barbaric; he only wants to purge Rome of tyranny. "Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius. We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar" Brutus also thinks that Antony is harmless even though this later becomes Brutus' fatal error of judgement. "And for Mark Antony, think not of him for he can do no more than Caesar's arm when Caesar's head is off". Brutus' poor judgement of character has lead to tragedy. He misjudged Antony twice. Firstly Brutus let Antony live after the killing of Caesar. After the death of Caesar, Antony became powerful and became a member of the 2nd Triumvirate with Octavius and Lepidus. Antony becomes deceitful and cunning by back stabbing Lepidus. The 2nd misjudgement was when Brutus let Antony speak at Caesar's funeral. it led to the impact of Brutus' tragic fault in Act 3 Scene 2. After this, Brutus' death was inevitable. This makes Antony's triumph over the conspirators, the most gripping climax of the play. I think that overall, Antony was the better person of the two. His speech was more persuasive because it led the Romans to rage and mutiny against Brutus. I think that Brutus behaved very unwisely because he made 2 very bad decisions which later led to his death. Julius Caesar Coursework Becki Weare 11S2 ...read more.

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