Rhetorical Devices In Julius Caesar's Funeral Speech

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In the tragic play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar, is stabbed to death by some of his so-called friends. Brutus, one of Caesar's best friends, is approached by some of the other senators to join the conspiracy to kill Caesar. Brutus weighs his options and decides to join the conspirators for the good of Rome. At Caesars's funeral, Brutus gives a speech to convince the citizens that the conspirators were right to kill Caesar. In contrast, Antony gives a speech to convince the Romans that there was no real reason to kill Caesar. Both characters try to persuade the audience, but they achieve different tones using literary and rhetorical devices. The tone of Brutus' speech is prideful, while the tone of Antony's speech is dramatic and inflammatory. Brutus uses a proud tone conveyed by many literary devices to convince the audience that Caesar's murder was justified. Brutus asks, "Would you rather, Caesar were living, and you all die slaves, than that Caesar were dead, so you all live freeman" (Shakespeare 3.2.20-22). Brutus tries to persuade the audience that Caesar's murder was justified through the use of a rhetorical question and a hyperbole. He tells the audience if Caesar was not killed, Caesar could have become a dictator, and the people would have been oppressed. This persuasive question gives the Roman citizens time to contemplate what Brutus is saying, and prompts them to visualize the Wessinger 2 possibilities of being slaves. The extreme exaggeration of the word slave gives off an intense tone, so the citizens do not speak up. Brutus repeats the phrase "who is here so" followed by words like "vile" and "rude" multiple times (Shakespeare 3.2.25-28). He also repeats the sentence, "If any, speak, for him have I offended" (Shakespeare 3.2.26-29). The repetition of phrases throughout the speech illustrates the rhetorical device anaphora. When Brutus repeats these phrases, he challenges the opinions of the citizens disagreeing with him. Knowing the negative connotations of the words vile and rude, Brutus uses a manipulative tone to persuade the citizens that Caesar's murder was justified.."As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was
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