Essay about Rhetorical Analysis of Antony’s Funeral Speech

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On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of prominent politicians led by Marcus Brutus. The sudden death of Caesar created a power vacuum which gave rise of a two factions, one headed by Brutus and Cassius and the other by Antony and the future triumvirs. Shortly after Caesar’s death, Antony spoke at his funeral and used the opportunity to lead the Roman people away from Brutus and back to believing in Caesar and consequently, the Second Triumvirate. By combining a subtle use of questions and interjections to keep audience engaged, a variety of rhetorical devices devices that dignify Caesar and himself, and an effective use of all three modes of persuasion, Antony is able to convert the …show more content…
On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of prominent politicians led by Marcus Brutus. The sudden death of Caesar created a power vacuum which gave rise of a two factions, one headed by Brutus and Cassius and the other by Antony and the future triumvirs. Shortly after Caesar’s death, Antony spoke at his funeral and used the opportunity to lead the Roman people away from Brutus and back to believing in Caesar and consequently, the Second Triumvirate. By combining a subtle use of questions and interjections to keep audience engaged, a variety of rhetorical devices devices that dignify Caesar and himself, and an effective use of all three modes of persuasion, Antony is able to convert the audience to his cause while destroying the conspirators’ credibility.

While Mark Antony’s speech is a eulogy Caesar’s funeral, it gradually develops the energetic tone of an epideictic (praise-and-blame speech), which points to an ulterior motive. He draws in his audience with a solemn introduction that is meant to defer any bad feelings the Roman’s have towards him, and then he begins to exemplify Caesar’s good character. However, his tone soon becomes more passionate and he begins to use interjections to arouse the listeners. By shouting “O judgment!” as he questions the Roman’s loyalty, Antony is making use of ecphonesis to force a reaction: hopefully one that supports Caesar. Antony strategically spaces these throughout the course
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