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Brutus' and Antony's Speech in the Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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In the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar written by William Shakespeare, two speeches both different in context are given to the citizens of Rome discussing/stating Caesar’s death. In this play, Brutus and Antony try to persuade the citizens of Rome to believe what they believe. Antony tries to state the fact that the conspirators were traitors and that they were basically the cause of Caesar’s death. They committed an act of brutality on Caesar in other words. Brutus on the other hand tries to state that he killed Caesar for a reason for he was a ‘tyrant’ and if he let him live Caesar would’ve caused a tyranny. Both speeches prove to be both effective but also ineffective which can be seen/heard in the tone/other literary trick heard in the speeches.

Brutus’ speech proves to be effective but also ineffective in his ways of persuading the citizens by his use of tone and other literary tricks seen in his speech. In his speech, you can see that Brutus is very compassionate when he states that he loved Caesar as much as he loved Caesar’s friend. In his speech he says,’If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’s love to Caesar was no less than his.'(lines 18-20) Brutus only wanted to try to have the citizens of Rome to understand the sorrow/guilt he was going through, even though he had felt he had killed Caesar for a good reason or for the better of Rome. ‘If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I love Caesar less, but Rome more.’ (lines 20-23) With questions like these, Brutus was able to manipulate the minds of the Roman people. In his speech he says that Caesar was very determined but was never able to actually give reason as to how or why. He told the citizens to believe him and respect him for his honor. Brutus was ineffective during his speech in giving reasons as to why Caesar was so determined. This gave Antony the chance to turn the citizens against Brutus.

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Antony’s speech began with him speaking in a very detached tone stating, ‘The evil men do lives after them, the good is oft entered with their bones; so let it be with Caesar.’ (lines 77-79) Antony had only wanted the citizens to know that he was fair towards the given issue, therefore he would speak the truth and only the truth. During his speech, he questions Brutus’s honor by telling the people of Rome about what Caesar did for the people. In Antony’s speech he mocks the conspirators by saying,’My credit now stands on such slippery ground/ The one of two bad ways you must conceit me/ Either a coward or a flatterer’ Antony states that his reputation is at stake and that it will be very difficult to explain the reasons for him joining hands with the people who murdered Julius Caesar. Therefore he will either be called a coward or even a flatterer. Even though he believes that he may be ruined, that’s not true at all for it gives him the ultimate chance to turn around and give the conspirators along with the murderers a taste of their own medicine.

In the end everyone was in favor of Antony. This would be because he was able to give reasons as to why Caesar wasn’t determined which Brutus couldn’t do. The use of tone and other literary tricks used in the speeches really gave the characters an advantage. This helped the characters to express their emotions clearly. With comparing the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of both essays we were able to see whos side the citizens would choose.

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