Rhetorical Analysis of Antony's Speech 3.2

842 Words Dec 6th, 2012 4 Pages
Rhetorical Analysis of Antony’s Speech
In Julius Caesar, Mark Antony is given the opportunity to speak at Caesar’s funeral by the conspirators the murdered him. Through his words, Antony seeks to cause dissent and let mischief reign over his audience, the plebeians of Rome. Antony uses rhetorical questioning to provoke the crowd into a fit of rage over Brutus’ words. Antony disguises his true intents in his speech, putting him at a moral high ground over Brutus. He finally uses ambiguous meanings in his words to hide his feelings about both Caesar and Brutus.
In lines 1-4, Antony introduces himself to the crowd. “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”, is what he addresses the plebeians as, using pathos here to tie himself closer to the commoners
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He then paints Caesar as a great leader to Rome by telling the crowd that “(He) hath brought many captives home to Rome, whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.”. Without Caesar’s great deeds, where would the public of Rome be? Antony questions if Caesar’s acts for the whole of Rome are truly ambition here.
From lines 19-22, Antony uses inflection to not praise Caesar literally while also proving his innocence. “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff!”, here Antony uses both pathos to link Caesar and the commoners and circumlocution to question Brutus without calling him a liar to the public.
From lines 23-29, Antony assures the crowd that while his eulogy has provided opposing points to Brutus’ rhetoric, he means not to call Brutus a liar or praise Caesar while actually doing both at the same time. “I thrice presented (Caesar) a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?”, says Antony. Antony’s ethos here, that any man that refuse a crown would obviously not be ambitious, contradicts events the reader has seen. Although Antony persuades the crowd, as all rhetoric should, that Caesar refused the crown three times, in actuality, Caesar was said to loathe giving back the crown three times before suffering from his epilepsy. Antony, for the last time, brings up that “Brutus says he was ambitious; and, sure, he is an honorable man.”. He has,
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