Brutus Vs Antony Essay, Research Paper
The most predominate and important aspect In the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare are the speeches given to the Roman citizens by Brutus and Antony, the two main charaters, following the death of Caesar. Brutus and Antony both spoke to the crowd,using the same rhetorical devices to express their thoughts. Both speakers used the three classical appeals employed in the speeches: ethos, which is an appeal to credibility; pathos, which is an appeal to the emotion of the audience; and logos, which is an appeal to the content and arrangement of the argument itself. Even though both speeches have the same structure Antony’s speech is significantly more effective than Brutus’s.
Both speakers used an ethical appeal to the crowd and established their credibility first. Brutus starts off by saying he was Caesar’s friend, and he loved him, but because Ceasar was “ambitious” he had to “slew” him. Brutus knew that everyone in town thought he was an honorable man and he used that to establish his credibility, unlike Antony, who was thought to be a play boy, not serious about anything. He had to work harder to gain the crowd’s attention. The first sentence out of his mouth was that he was here to “bury Caesar, not to praise him” which is a great way to start since most of the people didn’t like Caesar at the time and didn’t want to listen to some silly friend of Caesar’s say wonderful things about him. Antony also mentioned many times that their hero Brutus is an “honorable“ man. This also helped get the crowd to listen to him, because they had just heard Brutus and were all fired up about the wonderful things he had said. So both the characters start off their speeches the same, gaining credibility, but because Antony had to work harder to gain it, he performed much better.
The emotional appeal, pathos, is the most used appeal in both the speeches. Brutus used repetition the most to influence the crowd. He states about Caesar’s “tears, love, and ambition.” Brutus also asked the audience rhetorical questions that they could not answer, and he would take their silence as if they were agreeing when in reality they were probably too scared to answer. Antony also used repetition to sway the crowd. He often pointed out that “Brutus was an honorable man” and he said it with more and more sarcasm each time. Antony also took advantage of the crowd and used reverse psychology on them. He used Caesar’s will as a tool to accomplish this. He told the crowd about Caesar’s will, telling them that they would think twice if they heard what was in the will, but he doesn’t read it to them. That made them beg for him to read it to them. Not only does this get them to do what he wants, it also give the crowd a false sense of authority over Antony. Also, he asks the crowd if he can come down and join them, saying they give him permission, again giving them that sense of authority. Antony, in addition to the will, used Caesar’s body as a prop in his speech. He created a sympathetic attitude towards Caesar. The other pathos appeal Antony used was the contrast that he showed between the beginning and end of his speech. He opened, saying he was only to “bury Caesar, not to praise him” yet towards the end he had accomplished his goal in making the crowd feel sorry for Caesar and wanting to avenge his death. He has to pause “til his hear comes back” to him, for it had left him to go be “with Caesar in the coffin.” So even though Brutus used the pathos appeal to the crowd, it didn’t compare to the amount Antony used in his speech.
The last of the three appeals is logos, which is an intellectual or logical appeal. Brutus isn’t as strong in this aspect, though he did use many rhetorical questions. Brutus has a flawed logic with his cause and effect. Antony, on the other hand, used time, rhetorical questions and dramatic pauses, and props in his speech. He hod gotten a great benefit because he was speaking after Brutus. This allowed him to take everything that Bruts said and twist it, tear it apart and over analyse until he has disproved everything Brutus said. Antony placed pauses in just the right places. He would ask a rhetorical question, then pause, giving the crowd a chance to think and discuss amongst themselves. The pauses also emphasized the friendship he had had with Caesar and how he was hurting from his death. Antony, besides the will, used Ceasar’s body as a prop. His position around the body and also the position he asked the crowd to form, helped the Romans feel a sense of unity. They formed a circle around Caesar, with Antony. He came down off his pulpit, which was a great move on his part, for it let the townfolk see that he doesn’t think he is higher or better than them. Antony showed the people each and every wound, telling them about the people that did it to him. This also links together with pathos, the emotional connection and the sense of sypathy they feel towards Caesar. Another thing that Antony did that Brutus didn’t was that since he understood how fickle the crowd was, he made sure that they were really listening to him and really going to be his followers. Two times Antony called the people back from running away in anger and said another thing to deepen the seed he had planted in them.
Although both gentlemen used the same three persuasive appeals in their speeches, one was obviously more effective. Antony did a more sufficient job of getting his point across. He understood what he would have to od to win the crowd. He used the three appeals, ethos, pathos, and logos, to his advantage and evn though Brutus also used the same three appeals, his speech did not impact the Roman countrymen nearly as much as Antony. Both speeches had the same structure and used the same rhetorcial devices but Antony’s speech was much more influencial and because of that, he help build the great history that is Rome.
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