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Compare the speeches of Brutus and Antony in Act 3 scene 2

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Caesar is dead and the people are looking for their next ruler, so are easily suede in the tide of opinions. Two different speeches, two possible outcomes, two great leaders. One could tear Rome apart, and one could bring it together. The fate of the Roman Empire is in the hands of the rabble. Antony and Brutus have stepped up to wield them, Brutus for the good of Rome, and Antony to exact vengeance on the murderers of Caesar. Brutus opens leaning on the basis of patriotism and honour.

His entire speech explains he loved Caesar, and that he killed him because “he was ambitious”. His speech is not structured in syllables, he uses blank verse, a prose, putting his points across bluntly so the crowd understands. He uses a series of repartitions, rhetorical questions and answers. One major mistake from Brutus was that he went first, leaving a skilled speaker like Antony obvious chances to turn his own words against him. Another mistake was that Brutus left the forum, leaving Antony to usurp his new control of the people and sway their opinions once more.

Antony’s first major tool in his speech was the bloody carcass of Caesar, which adds a vital visual impact, increasing the fundamental elements of his speech; sadness, pity, sympathy, and anger! He starts off with “friends” this time unlike Brutus’ “Romans” personalising his speech so it means more to the crowd. His speech is structured, with an obvious attempt to keep the lines of a similar length and rhythm which gives more of an impact. He repeats the words “honourable” and ambition eventually to such an extent that they loose there meaning and almost become insults.

His initial speech focuses on “ambition” and how Brutus used it to explain Caesar’s murder, he succeeds in convincing the crowd that Caesar was not ambitious. In a way this is kind of ironic where Brutus stabbed Caesar in the back, Antony is now stabbing Brutus with his of ambition and honour. This is completely different to Brutus’ speech. Brutus was honourable, he killed Caesar for Rome and its people He wasn’t trying to offend anyone, in fact he asked if he had, yet he got no reply. And now Antony is trying to stir up the crowd to go against, or even hate Brutus.

His pause at the end of the first section leaves time for him to assess the crowd of how they are reacting to his words and also adds to his show to gain sympathy and sadness. His next section adds a new angle, Caesar’s will. Antony now uses a lot of reverse psychology to increase the crowd’s interest in the will, Caesar and on his words. Ultimately Antony’s speech was far better than Brutus’ was, it was well structured and planned and worked into the minds of the plebeians and bent them to his will. Antony made far better use of rhetoric and so the crowd was in his favour.

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