Comparing the Speeches of Mark Antony and Robert F. Kennedy Essay

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Giving a successful speech, in any language, is a difficult yet gratifying skill. Great speeches can be inspiring, compelling, and even revolutionary – indeed, these speeches are deliberate, succinct, engaging, and unforgettable. Two examples of such great speeches in both literature and in history are Mark Antony’s eulogy in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Robert F. Kennedy’s On the Death of Martin Luther King. Through the speakers’ use of parallel structure, caesuras, and personal references – three stylistic devices and techniques – not only were both speakers able to embellish their speeches; it also allowed each speaker to deliver an even more powerful speech. In these speeches, the use of repetition through the anaphoral and…show more content…
It was, however, the most apparent example of repetition in the epistrophe, “Brutus is an honourable man” (III, ii, 84, 89,) that outlines the heart of Antony’s speech – that the conspirators were, in fact, not the least bit honourable in their murder of Caesar. Antony uses the epistrophe again to illustrate the other major concept in his speech; Caesar wasn’t ambitious – he didn’t deserve to die. “Brutus says he was ambitious.” (III, ii, 88, 96, 100). Through the heavy-handed use of repetition in Antony’s eulogy to Caesar, he delivers a strong message to the crowd. More importantly, however, such repetition was able to compel the audience into believing his words instead of Brutus’. Similarly, Robert Kennedy’s speech also concerns with the assassination of a great man – civil activist Martin Luther King. In his speech, Kennedy, as in Mark Antony’s eulogy, also uses repetition, especially anaphora, to augment and stress the purpose of his speech – that peace and solidarity, instead of anger and division, should be the response to such a devastating event. In his speech, he describes the appropriate course of action in response the recent assassination, “What we need in the United States is not division;” urges Kennedy, “what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and
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