In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Brutus give speeches at his funeral. I am going to be analyzing their speeches, and viewing why Antony’s speech was more persuasive than Brutus’. I am going to be giving three reasons for Antony’s speech being more persuasive. The reasons I am going to be giving are, that Antony gave his speech second, his speech included emotion and appealed to the audience, and his heavy usage of persuasion. Antony’s overall way of giving the speech has helped him be more persuasive to the audience that Brutus. In the next paragraph I will be explaining how Antony giving his speech second helped him. The first reason why Antony’s speech was more persuasive is that he told his speech after Brutus.
Antony had time to listen and analyze what Brutus was saying so that he could reword his speech and give a speech that the audience wanted to hear. Antony also referred to what Brutus had said and wanted to tell the audience that they must go against Brutus, and the killers of Caesar. Antony also wanted to gain power for himself in the Roman government, yet he couldn’t say anything bad or against Brutus, so he had to use verbal irony in the speech.
(III. ii. 74) “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” he says this line to bring attention, he tries to be more friendly in his speech than Brutus, where he just wanted to put out points for the audience to hear.
Also Antony had things to say that he couldn’t due to an agreement with Brutus “Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest” (III. ii. 81).
Yet he had his way of saying what he wanted by the use of sarcasm. The second reason the Antony’s speech was more persuasive in my opinion is that he included a lot of emotion that the audience accepted to hear. Antony is fulfilled with anger against the conspirators.
He calls them “honorable men” (III. ii. 83) using sarcasm to make the audience also angered at the conspirators. Antony also helps connect this belief to the audience by saying “O masters, if I were disposed to stir/Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,/I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong” (III. ii. 133-136). The emotions that Antony uses in his whole speech are: horror, sadness, and anger. He uses them to persuade the audience to his view.
In Antony’s overall use of reverse psychology his speech gets a high turning emotional point, and the audience gives them the attention, and they get persuaded. The third and final reason I’m going to be giving that Antony’s speech was more persuasive is his heavy usage of persuasion. Marc Antony tells the audience that he is there to “bury Caesar, not to praise him” (III. ii. 74). He wants all the tyranny and ambitions, about or against Caesar to end. Antony also persuades the audience that he cared a lot about Caesar “He was my friend, faithful and just to me” (III.
ii. 85). He states that Brutus thought he was “ambitious” (III. ii. 86). In addition to persuasion of the audience Antony adds many things that Caesar did, and asks the audience if this is the work of an ambitious man. He says this because he attempts to wave emotion of the audience against Brutus, and the others.
After much great persuasion of Antony, the audience believes that the conspirators are villains and murderers. Antony has clearly turned the audience fully against Brutus, and the whole time while using sarcasm, by naming him honorable. In conclusion Antony’s speech was more persuasive than Brutus’ because, he gave his speech second, his speech included emotion and appealed to the audience, and his heavy usage of persuasion. By giving his speech second Antony has heard what Brutus had said and could have had things to say in his speech that would be against him but in a sarcastic way, in order to persuade the audience even more to his advantage. Antony’s vast usage of emotion helped the audience feel emotion, and later put it against Brutus, and the other conspirators. He was fulfilled with much anger, and wanted to say things against Brutus directly but couldn’t and had to use sarcasm. The final reason I stated was Antony’s heavy usage of persuasion.
Antony didn’t have such an easy job of persuading the audience, because he couldn’t say anything bad against the conspirators, but still managed to heavily persuade the audience away from Brutus. In the end Antony succeeded to persuade the audience and did it appreciably.