Caesar Essay

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By the end of Antony’s speech, their views have completely altered: “Methinks there is much reason in his sayings./ If thou consider rightly of the matter/ Caesar has had great wrong.” Antony manages this by some clever oratorical tricks: at no point does he actually say that Brutus was wrong, in fact he continually repeats that “Brutus in an honourable man.” Caesar was killed for being too ambitious, and Antony produces various pieces of evidence to refute this: that Caesar cried alongside the poor when they were in trouble, that he refused the crown when it was offered to him and that he brought captives home from the wars whose ransoms were paid to Rome’s treasury. However, at every stage he doesn’t denounce Brutus, but does the reverse, repeating that “Brutus said he was ambitious/ And Brutus is an honourable man.” Antony sets up an obviously faulty syllogism or logical series: Caesar was not ambitious, Brutus says Caesar was ambitious, Brutus would not tell lies. Since these three statements cannot all be true the speech edges the crowd towards believing that the third statement (“Brutus would not tell lies”) is false. He then directly opposes two statements: “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke/ But here I am to speak what I do know.” Antony is getting closer to calling Brutus a liar; it is worth noting that he claims to “know” and “speak” are linked with Antony, where only “spoke” is linked to Brutus’ name. This implicitly associates Brutus with speech and outward show, rather than the certain internal integrity of knowledge. He next moves from the subject of Brutus to the plebians themselves, reminding them that “You all did love him once, not without cause”, complimenting their past judgement and calling their current opinions into question. His apostrophe, or address to the abstract quality of judgement (“O, judgement, thou art fled to

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