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Why is Mark Antony more successful than Brutus at winning over the crowd at Caesar's funeral?

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Introduction

Why is Mark Antony more successful than Brutus at winning over the crowd at Caesar's funeral? There are many parts of the scene that suggest the plebeians are changing their allegiance to Antony. The first sign is after the initial part of Antony's speech where all the plebeians start to think about what has been said by Antony and start to believe in it. One of the plebeians says "Methinks there is much reason in his sayings", shows that the plebeians are thinking about what Antony has said and are considering it. "He would not take the crown, Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious" shows that they are starting to believe in Antony's good intentions and are going against Brutus who said that one of the main reasons he killed Caesar was that Caesar was too ambitious. The Plebeians comment "There is not a nobler man in Rome than Antony", shows that they are fully behind Antony and believe that he is correct. The plebeians show their opposition towards Brutus by saying "They were villains, murderers", which shows that they no longer respect him and then they say "we'll burn the house of Brutus" indicating how much they now hate him. ...read more.

Middle

In the final part of his speech, he again uses repetition, for example- "who here is so rude that would not be a Roman?" and "who is here so vile that would not love his country?" These sentences not only make use of rhetoric but also make out that if you had a problem with the murder of Caesar then you did not love Rome and none of the plebeians wanted to give that impression. Brutus uses patriotism to win Plebeians loyalty. Again like Brutus, Antony's speech starts with the rule of three "Friends, Romans, and Countrymen." Then he uses repetition for example "But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus in an honourable man... Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honourable man." This shows that he is trying to make a point about Brutus and the conspirators. He uses reverse psychology by saying they are honourable men and by then slowly proving that they aren't. Next he shows that Caesar wasn't ambitious "I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another big devise Antony used was his cunning ability to use the word "Honourable" in describing Brutus and make it mean the exact opposite. He made the conspirators seem wrong to do what they did and turned the plebeians against them. The other big deciding factor that worked to Antony's favour was that his speech was after Brutus'. He managed to persuade the people against Brutus and got them very excited and enraged and his speech may not have had the same effect if he had gone first. Brutus had already made his comments and Antony could take advantage of this and make each part of Brutus speech to appear negative or that Brutus intentions were not good for the Plebeians. I think that these speeches were very good and would still be good in the modern world. This is because they both made use of many persuasive devises which are still in very big use in today's speeches and have been used in many big influential speeches by Martin Luther King jr, George W Bush and Tony Blair. In fact anybody in power uses such strong and emotive language to get their way and to win loyalty from the public in general or whoever is at the receiving end. ...read more.

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