In William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, two speeches are given to the people of Rome about Caesar's death. In Act 3, Scene 2 of this play Brutus and Antony both try to sway the minds of the Romans toward their views. Brutus tried to make the people believe he killed Caesar for a noble cause. Antony tried to persuade the people that the conspirators committed an act of brutality toward Caesar and were traitors. The effectiveness and ineffectiveness of both Antony's and Brutus's speech to the people are conveyed through tone and rhetorical devices.
Brutus made his speech effective in persuading the people by using tone and rhetorical devices. Brutus was compassionate when referring to how he loved Caesar as much as Caesar`s friends of his speech. Brutus was showing compassion on lines18 - 20 when he said, "If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say that Brutus's love to Caesar was no less than his." Brutus said this to help the people understand the sorrow he felt for the loss of Caesar, but he felt he killed Caesar for the good of Rome. Brutus anticipated an objection by the people when he said he loved Caesar , so he went on to say on lines 20 - 23, "If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I love Caesar less, but Rome more."Brutus manipulated the people with rhetorical questions. He asks them on lines 29 - 33, " who is so base, that they would be a bondman, who is so rude, that they would not be a Roman, and who is so vile, that will not love his country," the people do not want to be against their country nor do they want to be so base to be a slave....
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...ns. This made Antony's speech more effective in the fact that he used detailed reasoning for why Caesar was not ambitious. This was why the people came to his favor in the end. The tones and rhetorical devices they used helped to capture their audience by appealing to their emotions and helping to move the views of Antony and Brutus's views across to their listeners. Comparing effectiveness and ineffectiveness of both speeches was important in determining which way the people would be swayed.
Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Chelsea House Publisher; Connecticut, New York, & Pennsylvania. 1988, Pg. #33 - 36
Durband, Alan. Shakespeare Made Easy: Julius Caesar. Barron's Educational Series, Inc.; New York. 1985.
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Alan Durband. London: Hutchinson & Co. Publishers Ltd., 1984.
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