Use of Rhetorical Appeals in Julius Caesar: Brutus vs Antony

846 Words Jun 25th, 2018 4 Pages
In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus and Antony attempt to persuade the audience of their position on the death of Caesar. While Brutus explains that his death was necessary, Antony claims that Caesar was not deserving of his demise. However, though Brutus does have ample credibility and taps into the emotional link with his audience to some extent, he does not convey as powerful of an argument as Antony, as he fails to provide sufficient factual evidence. Antony, on the other hand, utilizes logical argumentation with solid evidence, creates an emotional connection with his audience, and maintains credibility in order to support his own argument. Through this, it can be seen that Antony’s use of rhetorical appeals and devices is superior …show more content…
Additionally, Brutus presents a series of rhetorical questions that have no grounds to persuade the audience. He asks, “Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman?” Here he makes it clear that one who does not understand the reason behind Caesar’s necessary death should not be considered a Roman. But, the audience, once again, does not have reason to acknowledge this statement as Brutus does not have sufficient evidence that the murder was, in fact, a necessity.
Contrastingly, Antony creates a strong argument by augmenting his credibility and using logical evidence. To make himself more believable, he concedes, “But yesterday the word of Caesar might Have stood against the world.” By acknowledging that Caesar may have done a little wrong, the audience realizes that Antony has considered both sides of the argument. He elaborates on the noble accomplishments of Julius Caesar, saying, “He hath brought many captives home to Rome, Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.” By pointing out emphasizing the good that Caesar did, he defies the motives behind his murder.
Antony also utilizes rhetorical devices, not only to support his own argument, but to passively challenge Brutus’s. Like Brutus, he uses rhetorical questions such as, “What cause withholds you then to mourn for him (Caesar)?” This gives the audience a chance to ponder the injustice of Caesar’s murder and realize that he was noble and undeserving of it. Antony also uses
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