William Shakespeare 's Julius Caesar

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Antony’s Funeral Oration in Julius Caesar, and Why It Wouldn’t Stand in Court “Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing. It may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What does circumstantial evidence have to do with a speech, you may ask? In a manner of speaking, everything, for the evidence maketh the speech. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a long-winded Marc Antony had the wiles to manipulate a large plebian crowd to mutiny during Caesar’s funeral, using only simple words that were cleverly twisted to prove his point. Before humans learned the concept of applying “reasonable doubt” to each and every scenario, Antony had a surefire way of winning over the citizens. But as we evolved and have become more knowledgeable, a speech like that would evoke demanding yells of, “Where’s the proof?” As the gaping holes of logic are made clear in Antony’s funeral oration, we begin to see what sorts of artifices made his speech so cunning; its use of circumstantial evidence applied in the correct context, its largely emotional pleas, and its desperate engagement of the citizens by telling them what they want to hear. In this way, Marc Antony is nothing more than a demagogue, and his respective speech is nothing more than a series of words that subject the plebian crowd to sheer demagoguery.
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