Shakespeare/Mark Antony's Speech term paper 12497

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Mark Antony's Speech In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Antony confronts a

crowd that is against him and on the side of the conspirators who just killed

Caesar. In order to turn the crowd to his side; Antony uses rhetorical

questions, appeals, and irony in his speech to the people. Without breaking his

word not to wrong the conspirators, Antony indirectly persuades the crowd that

the conspirators were wrong in killing Caesar and that Caesar's death should be

avenged. The use of rhetorical questions in Antony's speech causes the crowd to

question whether or not what the conspirators claimed to be true. For example,

when Antony asked the crowd, "I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which

he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?" (I: 24-25). This reminds the

crowd that Brutus said that Caesar was ambitious. In effect, they wonder if

Brutus was actually right or not. He also asked, "You loved him once, not

without cause; what cause withholds you then to mourn for him?" (I: 30-31).

This question reminds the crowd of how their lives were before Caesar was

killed. Then, the crowd questions Brutus tricked them. Antony goes on to ask,

"And being men, hearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you, it will

make you mad. 'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs; for if you should,

O, what will come of it?" (II: 26-27). This makes the crowd interested in

what Caesar left them in his will. The way Antony speaks of it makes the crowd

look bad for ever being on the side of the conspirators. Rhetorical questions

are utilized in the speech and help the unjustifiable excuses of the

conspirators become clear. The rhetorical appeals, logos, pathos, and ethos,

used in Antony's speech, turn the crowd to the side of Caesar. An example of

logos is "He hath brought many captives home to Rome." (I: 16). By

saying this, Antony proves that Caesar did many things for his country and not

all for himself. This refutes Brutus' idea that Caesar was ambitious. Antony

also uses pathos such as, "If you have tears, prepare to shed them

now." (III: 1). In saying this, Antony gets to the emotional side of the

crowd. He is trying to make the crowd feel sorry for wanting Caesar dead, and he

is successful in doing so. "The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny."

(IV: 21), shows how Antony puts ethos to use. Antony is trying to tell the crowd

to get even with Brutus and the rest of the conspirators, which to them seems

fair. Antony knows it is not right to do such a thing but the crowd does not.

These appeals help make Antony's speech more affective and help to move the

crowd towards Antony's side. Irony is a noteworthy application that Antony uses

in his speech. For example, "Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir

you up to such sudden flood of mutiny." (IV: 1-2). Antony's soul purpose is

to make the crowd angry. Antony knows that by saying this it will upset the

crowd even more, which in fact is exactly what he is trying to do because the

conspirators were wrong and he wants them suffer along side of Caesar. "And

being men, hearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you. It will make you

mad." (II: 24-25). This is also ironic because Antony does want to make

them mad. He wants to make the crowd anxious to hear the will. "I come not,

friends, to steal away your hearts." (IV: 7). Antony did want to steal

their hearts and uses this to make the crowd more at ease. He wanted to change

their minds about the conspirators. Antony uses irony in his speech and it helps

the crowd understand and see his viewpoints. Through this use of rhetorical

questions, appeals, and irony, Antony does turn the crowd against the

conspirators. This shows the effectiveness of the way he used these devices. In

persuading the crowd to be on Caesar's side, Antony displays the power of these

rhetorical devices. I love you Ms. Getzlaff.


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