How Sly Was Marc Antony? Essay, Research Paper
As shown in many previous examples, at the time of his murder Caesar was very popular among the common people he ruled. However, they are also very open to suggestion, and can have their opinion of the their leaders changed quite easily. After Caesar is murdered, and Brutus tells the people of his death, they lavish praise on Brutus, forgetting their previous loyalties. Thus Marc Antony must find a way to sway their opinions back, to get Caesar back in their favour, without directly offending any of the conspirators, the guilty Senators.
In his speech to the people of Rome, Antony could have chosen to simply tell the people their leader and his good friend, Julius Caesar, was dead, and that they should mourn. But as Brutus spoke before him, their loyalties had already been changed to support the other Senators. The way he chose to convert them back was to support the conspirators himself, thus never bad mouthing them in any way, but using carefully placed ironic remarks and sarcasm to let the people decide on their own.
His first word to the people is very important. Brutus opened his speech by calling the people Romans, countrymen, and lovers (friends) placing the people s love for their country ahead of their love for their fellow man. This loyalty may have been true for Brutus; he probably loved Rome more than he loved anyone or anything else. But for the common man, although Rome was important, chances are they loved their friends and family more. Antony, picking up on this fact, began his speech the exact opposite way, with Friends, Romans, countrymen He places the people s love for their fellow man ahead of their love for Rome and the government, and in this way identifies with the people, making it seem like he is one of them, not just a person of power.
Antony knows he must let the people know Brutus and the other Senators murdered Caesar for being ambitious, when he obviously was not, but he has promised Brutus he would only speak positively about the conspirators and the conspiracy. Therefore, he uses carefully placed sarcasm to let the people know exactly what he really believes. Near the beginning of Antony s speech, he says, For Brutus is an honourable man and repeats this phrase over and over throughout the rest of his monologue. However, directly before he states it, he gives a pointed example of how Brutus and the other conspirators are not honourable at all, by indicating out all the way Caesar showed he was not ambitious. In this way, Antony is able to fulfil his purpose without bad mouthing Brutus at all.
Another one of the ways Antony is able to manipulate the crowd is in what he does not say. In various locations throughout his speech, he pauses because he needs to collect his thoughts, or make his way from the pedestal to the street, or for some other convenient reason. In every pause, the crowd stops to reflect on what Antony has just said, and unanimously agrees what he has said is true. By doing this, Antony lets the people think they have come to their own conclusions about Caesar s death, when in fact he has secretly guided them the entire way.
After Antony comes down to the street to read Caesar s (fake) will to the people, he stands before Caesar s body and illustrates the murder for the crowd, showing them when each of the conspirators may have stabbed Caesar. It is here that he gives up on his promise not to speak badly of Brutus. With the crowd now solidly behind him, he tells of how in Caesar s eyes Brutus could do no wrong, how Caesar loved Brutus, how Caesar s heart broke when he saw Brutus was leading the conspiracy to kill him. Using himself as an instrument of Caesar s emotions, he is able to describe to the crowd Caesar felt and how wrong it was to kill him. He then irresponsibly allows the crowd to take the law into their own hands, swearing to right the wrong of Caesar s death.
Antony is very smart in how he persuades the people to believe him and not Brutus. Instead of pleading with them, or simply ordering them to follow him, he shows them all the information he believes they should know, then guides them to the response he wants them to have. Thus he is able to defeat Brutus and the other Senators in their own game trickery and manipulation.
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Автор(ы): Horowitz Antony Издательство: Walker Books, 2015 г.
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