Views about Caesar's death

Act 3 Scene 2, where the two speeches are made is a most memorable, very dramatic and tense scene for an audience as it is the actual turning point of the play. However, what makes the scene everlasting is the writer's play with words and the way emotions are shown through different tones and moods and the several occasions where he uses dramatic irony. The scene shows the audience example of public rhetoric in Brutus's short and Antony's long speech at Caesar's funeral which makes Julius Caesar not just a mere play but a play of continuous persuasiveness.

Brutus's scene starts by addressing the crowd as 'Romans, countrymen, and lovers.' By addressing the people in such a way shows that he is patriotic and his country is very dear to him. In Elizabethan era honour was consider most important virtue to judge any people. Hence Brutus requests the people to believe him because of his honour (III.2.15).Using prose, the tongue of common men, Brutus proceeds with his speech in reasonable tones. He tells the people that his love for Caesar was as equal as the people who were dear friends of Caesar. Further he uses some strong contrast words such as 'less'/ 'more' , 'living' / 'dead' .Following his use of balancing words and phrases for example,' As Caesar loved me, I weep for him' (III.2.22.) for the life of Caesar, Brutus gives his reasons for killing Caesar. He had to kill Caesar not because of his own love for Caesar, but his greater love for Rome (III.2.20). Now he begins his trick of three main rhetorical questions (III.2.25-30.). Brutus with his oratory skill constructs a picture of what means to be a true Roman. Of course among the crowd there would be no one who would hate his country. Caesar's death could only offend those who wanted to be salves and traitors. Such was the art of his rhetorical questions that consequently he succeeded in his speech by offending no one.

Concluding and having argued that Caesar's ambition was the main reason for his death; Brutus ends the speech by promising to slew himself whenever his country requires his death with the same dagger with which he killed Caesar (III.2.45). Brutus twice mentioning his taking leave from the crowd (III.2.55) tells the crowd that Antony was not involved in the Caesar's assassination and that Antony would speak with his permission. At this moment the crowd turn towards Antony but in no friendly mood. After two attempts of keeping the crowd quiet Antony gets the crowds attention and begins his speech.

Antony starts his speech by addressing people with, 'Friends, Romans and countrymen'. First word of his speech makes us think why did he use friends? I think he wanted to create a feeling among the crowd that he and the crowd were friends. There is no need for crowd to be afraid of that he is here not to praise Caesar (III.2.74.).Stressing the word grievously Antony mentions to the crowd that Brutus told them that Caesar was ambitious if so than he has paid for his ambition. Than very shrewdly Antony uses the most significant word of all 'Honourable'. Antony uses 'Honourable' 9 times to describe Brutus and other conspirators starting from the 80th line of act III scene 2 until 210th line. Each time Antony speaks the word 'honourable' with different tone, and with a different intention. The more he uses the word honour the more it becomes weaker. Repeated use of the word honour makes us think what exactly does Antony means by honour. This shows the dramatic irony of word honour and how Antony misuses Brutus's honour for his own purpose.

Antony than goes on telling about the Caesars deeds about how he brought many prisoners home and Caesar has wept when poor have cried (III.2.85.).He also points out thrice Caesar refusing to receive the crown which was offered to him thrice by putting strain on the word thrice. Here again there is a repetition of ambition and honourable. Antony makes the crowd think what ambition really is? Antony acts as if he is confused and that he is not trying to prove Brutus wrong (III.2.98.).Yet again he uses the fine use of oratory asking the crowd the cause of not mourning for Caesar but they all loved him once with out any reason. Antony than turns away on one side filled with emotions giving people time to think about his speech (III.2.105.).Now people are already altered by Antony and are confused (III.2.106-107).Antony has brought the crowd long way from speaking good of Brutus.

Antony now has full attention of the crowd. He begins to talk about the disheartening change between Caesar's greatness and his death. But he does want to prove Brutus and other assassins wrong by stimulating people to revolt and make them say that Brutus and his friends wrong (III.2.120.).Then, with the fine effect he mentions about the Caesar's will. Antony tells the crowd that he cannot read the will but if he did the crowd would adore Caesar (III.2.130.). Antony acting as to be scared, says he cannot read the will, he objects that he must not do wrong to the honourable man (III.2.150.).As a result Antony succeeds in provoking people to read the will. Crowd now roars for the will.

Antony says if he is forced by crowd to read the will, he will read it but first he wants the crowd to make a ring around Caesar's dead body. Antony comes down from the stage. Holding the torn mantle of Caesar, Antony gathers people around the carcass of Caesar. Crowd are now weeping but will they weep on simple cloak? Hence Antony uncovers the bloody body of Caesar and shows them the wounds by giving detailed description of the each and every wound of Caesar (III.2.170.). He points out the most significant and worst wound made by Caesar's favourite Brutus because of which Caesar died. Antony goes further more by personifying the blood (III.2.177-180).

At this moment the crowd are full of rage and ready for revenge naming Brutus and his friends 'traitors' and 'villains' (III.2.199-200.).The conspirators are honourable and Antony does want to provoke crowd towards sudden revolution. He tells the crowd that the assassinations had personal bitterness against Caesar hence they killed him. Next Antony speaks about his skills of oratory. He says he is not a great public speaker but it is very noticeable that he reinforces his own fluency of public speaking. Using all the typical words for describing the various actions of a rhetorician he skilfully points out that he is not every eloquent (III.2.221-222).It is also noteworthy to see that Mutiny is first word and last word of this crucial speech (III.2.208,230).

Ultimately Antony discloses Caesar's will to people who are now filled with rage, emotion and revenge, have completely forgotten about it. Antony tells the crowd that Caesar has left his private walks and public parks for them. Antony indirectly planning the idea of revenge in their minds asks them will they come across any such Caesar in future. (III.2.250.).The people respond it by saying 'never again'. The scene ends with the array of disaster.

According to me answer to the best and most persuasive speech would be 'Antony's speech'. Brutus's and Antony's speeches have been addressed to people with different intentions. Brutus's speech appeals to reason while Antony's to passion. Brutus's speech is short simple balanced text whereas Antony's speech is in the form of verses and is comprised of iambic pentameter.

Brutus did not give any reasons as to why Caesar was ambitious. Brutus left it on the crowd to decide but the crowd themselves did not know the difference between right and wrong. Brutus could have stayed behind to keep an eye on Antony if he is speaking against him. But this was Brutus's biggest mistake, he left Antony alone (III.2.54-55). Brutus's persuades the crowd by giving the reason ambition and few appealing words of Brutus's love for Rome but is outwitted by Antony.

On the other hand, Antony plays a brilliant rhetorical technique by overcoming any dangers and than manipulating and provoking the crowd to revolt and to do whatever he wants them to do. He promises Brutus that he will not speak against him but breaks it by exploiting Brutus's honour. As speech further progress, Antony uses props such as Caesar's will and particularly the detail description of Caesar's wound to flatter the crowd. Here we see crowd changing their minds every time they hear Antony's speech, which in first instance were ready to accept Brutus in to Caesar's place. Antony thus not only succeeds in wining crowd but also motivates them to revolt and take revenge which makes the conspirators to run for their lives. Thus this concludes that the Antony's speech is the best and the most persuasive speech compared to Brutus's speech.

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