Julius Caesar: Comparison of the Eulogies of Mark Antony and Brutus

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Eulogy, noun. – A well versed, powerful speech which praises someone after their death. In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, there are two of the most famous, and repeated eulogies ever spoken. These eulogies are very powerful and speak to everyone. They are both written very eloquently, but very different at the same time. One is written as a sadness for Caesar, while the other is written as a man who wants to make others feel guilty for his doing. Both speeches seem to tug on the heart strings of Rome’s public. They both use different techniques of drawing the crowd into their thinking. In the speeches we can see notes of verbal irony, speech structure, and repetition of words that help to persuade the crowds of plebeians.

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Brutus, as far as I can tell, uses little to no verbal irony. This could be a good thing, but not for him, because it can be used to better persuade a crowd into your way of thinking. Also, Antony tries to bring about the feeling of doubt in the plebeians by using some contradicting statements, “Brutus is an honorable mankilling Cæsar was wrongful,” and making Cæsar the most honorable person in all of Rome.

A further way that the two speeches differ is their structure. Antony’s speech was more like freeform poetry, whereas Brutus’s speech was more like a story. Antony’s speech came from his heart, and unrehearsed, yet still seems to win over the crowd better than Brutus could. Brutus’s speech was completely rehearsed, and spoken with hardly emotion. Antony should have had no chance of swaying the eager crowd because of Brutus’s exceptional oration skills.

Yet another way these two speeches differ is the use of word repetition. Antony continually uses repetition of the words honorable and (y). Brutus does not use this rhetorical device to his advantage as he should. Antony’s continued use of the word “honorable” makes it seem like a worthless trait to hold. It makes the plebeians think that Brutus was not worthy of this title, and that he ed Cæsar for no reason other than showing his humbleness to the public.
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