In Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2, "friends, romans...till it come back to me." Analyze this extract paying attention to the language that Antony uses. What is the strategy of Antony?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his funeral speech, Antony uses repetition of important points. Also, Antony highlights Caesar's praiseworthy attributes to stir the people against the conspirators:

He hath brought many captives home to Rome, 
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill. 
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? 
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; 
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

Antony is a master of oratory. He speaks with such caution. He never directly insults the conspirators. He repeatedly insists that Brutus is an honorable, noble man. He uses his words wisely and turns the hearts of the people against the conspirators. He points out that Caesar refused the crown three times:

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, 
And Brutus is an honorable man. 
You all did see that on the Lupercal 
I thrice presented him a kingly crown, 
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?

Antony appears grief stricken. He has to pause til his heart comes back to him:

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, 
And I must pause till it come back to me.

This is a brilliant strategy on the part of Antony. He appears so grief stricken until he cannot speak. The people are stirred by Antony's broken heart. They rise up against the conspirators. They turn against Brutus who is an honorable man. Antony's powerful oration does exactly what he had expected it to do. Due to such a powerful speech, the people rise up against the conspirators.  

Antony appeals to the people's emotions. His plan works. He repeats that Brutus is an honorable, noble man. He never calls Brutus a murderer. He chooses his words wisely. He stirs the people's emotions into a frenzy. The people begin to cry out against the conspirators. 

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Julius Caesar

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