Julius Caesar: Famous Shakespeare Play

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In the second scene of the third act of the world famous Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony gives his now iconic speech to the common people. In the speech, he mainly uses powerful word choice and repetition to convince the Romans that Brutus and the conspirators have made a mistake by murdering Caesar, rather than saving rome, as they claim.

Throughout Antony’s speech, he repeatedly refers to Brutus as an honorable man. “For Brutus is an honorable man.” He does this because prior to his speech, Antony is confronted by the conspirators and Brutus and they make a deal. They will allow Antony to speak on behalf of his dead friend, but only if he doesn’t speak badly of them at all. However, with his extensive use of the phrase, he is slowly able to convey that Brutus isn’t all that honorable for what he did to the roman people. Also, Antony, when talking about Caesars will, purposely makes the Roman people wait to hear the will, therefore building suspense. “Be Patient my friends.”This simply allowed Antony more time to drive his purpose home, while at the same time making the Roman people more and more curious about what their great leader left for them after his death. Antony used this rhetorical device,repetition, to his advantage to find a loophole in his deal and strengthen his argument against Brutus.

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Furthermore, Antony uses strong word choice to drive his argument home and overall win the opinion of the Roman people. “For Brutus, as we know, was Caesar’s angel!” This sole line allowed for the Romans to truly understand Brutus’s impact in Caesar’s murder. For Brutus was in a way Caesar’s best friend, making his murder by his hand all the more demeaning. This also allows further doubt to Antony’s ironic line, Brutus is an honorable man. Another example of this is in line 177, where Antony says, “Judge, o you gods, how Caesar loved him!” This quote further proves Antony’s claim that Brutus was in the wrong by killing Caesar. This line in of itself drove most of the Romans to his side, rather than Brutus’s.

Overall, Antony uses several rhetorical devices to aid his argument against Brutus. He uses repetition and strong word play to his best advantage, and it shows in his speech. His speech was so impactful in fact, that Brutus and his conspirators fled from the streets of Rom after hearing his speech, knowing the Romans will be angry and will want revenge for their fallen leader. 

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