Rhetorical Analysis of Marc Antony's Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis of Marc Antony’s Speech Shakespeare wrote many great plays in his time, one of which being the story of Julius Caesar. Although Caesar was popularly known as a war general and tyrant, Shakespeare shows us a different side of this great man through the speech of Marc Antony. Not only does Marc Antony appeal to the citizen present in the play, but he brings forth an empathetic view point from those reading or watching the play, as well. Marc Antony’s speech was one of great emotion and passion, used to persuade the crowds and the observers of the play that Caesar was not a horrible man. In the play, Marc Antony is speaking to the common folks of Rome, whose opinions change as quickly as the Tucson weather. He uses this to his advantage when eulogizing Caesar, and draws upon the sympathy, inconsistencies, and greed of the citizens in his speech. Marc Antony starts off using a strong sense of pathos, or emotional appeal. He uses this strategy a lot throughout his speech. In the first line of his speech, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” (Line 1), he is building a connection with the crowd, letting them know that he is one of them, their friend, and that they are all part of the great country of Rome. His speech is aimed at the hearts and minds of the audience, trying to turn their hatred of this now dead leader upon his murderers, Brutus and the other conspirators. As he goes further into his speech he uses repetition, another form of pathos, to persuade the audience against Brutus, saying this such as, “But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man” (Lines 14­15), and, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” He is destroying the credibility of Brutus in the minds of the people, thus making all that was said in Brutus’ speech seem untrue, or
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