they would rather be a bondman?' He pauses for a reply, giving the crowd time to think and change their views. And to incite the crowd into taking action. He says that the reason for killing Caesar was his great love for Rome. His oratorydespite of his protestation to the contrary (Im no orator. He then says, I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him., thus he can ease in praises of Caesar without the crowd stopping him. Brutus seeks to explain why he conspired against Caesar. Like the sophists, like modern mass mediaShakespeare was well aware of which buttons to push, and when and how oftenin order to gain the greatest persuasive advantage. Which of the funeral speeches is the most dramatically effective?
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Antonys speech is much longer than Brutusand is also that much more effective. He begins his speech with Romans, countrymen, appealing to their consciousness as citizens of Rome, who, he later says, will benefit as freeman with Caesars death. He is able to get the people to question the rightness of killing Caesar. That is, none are offended, they do not disagree or argue with his words or his actions. Further, Antony claims that he speaks not to disprove what Brutus has said; once again, however, this is not truedisproving Brutus is exactly his intent. He even joins the crowdinviting them in a bonding circle around Caesars corpse. Further, Antonys mix of sarcasm and unaffected emotion allows the crowd to listen to what he is NOT sayingto read between the lines or fill in the blanks for itself. .
He justifies conspiring against Caesar by stating that Caesars ambition would have hurt Rome. He says that he wants them to know the facts; Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may the better judge. He then asks rhetorically if the people would want to live their lives as slaves under Caesars rule or would they prefer to live as freemen with Caesar dead. Antony, however, in particular seems to be the more natural of the two: He physically (and therefore, emotionally) comes down to crowd level, while Brutus stays above as he delivers his speech.
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