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Marc Anthony Speech

Essay by   •  August 11, 2011  •  Presentation or Speech  •  1,009 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,323 Views

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Caesar died at the capitol that morning while the sun was still hovering over the city. Brutus caused hundreds of Roman citizens to murmur to each other about his speech. Brutus' speech made the plebeians become irate over the way he made Caesar seem, as if he deserved to die. The citizens did not know how to react; they were left with many homicidal thoughts in their heads. As Antony watched Brutus walk off, Antony knew he had to take action so that the crowd did not riot because of him. At this point, Marc Antony uses rhetorical devices so that he could persuade the crowd concerning his point.

Epimone is the first rhetorical device Antony makes use of through out his speech. Marc Antony repeats the words "honourable men" several times so that the crowd captures the words. Marc Antony refers to Brutus and his followers as such "honourable men" so that the crowd thinks that Marc Antony is not against Brutus--in other words, on his side--in order to prevent a riot. Just because he calls Brutus and the rest of the men "honourable men," it does not mean he is on their side; it is just a cover up because, every time he mentions the words "honourable men," he says it with such sarcasm. Antony just tries to win the crowd over because he knows that Rome is on Brutus' side, at the moment, and they believe that Caesar deserved to die. There is nothing Marc Antony can do but appear to obey Brutus orders, which were to make Brutus look good in front of all the citizens of Rome. By praising Brutus, it shows that Antony does not want to be killed by the conspirators, but he does not praise Brutus. He praises Caesar. This is when Marc Antony makes use of irony in his speech.

Just like he used epimone in his speech, he also applied irony in his speech. An example would be, "I came to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (3.2.76). This would be an example of irony because he states that he is not there to praise Caesar but ends up doing so. When he praises Caesar, he talks about Caesar making the treasuries of Rome grow, expressing his sympathy towards the poor, and refusing the crown Antony offered him three times. When he was supposed to be flattering Brutus, instead he calls him an "honourable man", but when he calls him this, Antony says it was a scornful voice. Another example would be when he says he does not want to speak against Brutus but does anyways. Antony plays a trick to sneak in everything he truly wants to say to the people of Rome. He also states how he does not want to turn the plebeians against Brutus, but he does exactly this. In the line 155, "They were traitors. Honourable men!" (3.2), Marc Antony already has them against Brutus, and they are furious and ready to attack Brutus and his followers. Antony's whole speech is a perfect example of irony because he goes against everything he said he would not go against. Another perfect example would

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