Analyse Antony's speech and how he turns and the mob against Brutus and others?

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brutus uses several rhetorical devices, but one in particular, to turn the mob against the conspirators in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

He uses irony.  Antony promises Brutus that he won't say anything against the conspirators, in order to talk Brutus into allowing him to speak at Caesar's funeral.  Thus, Antony, whose tasks is to change the minds of the mob members, must do so without saying anything negative about Brutus and the others.  This is why he needs irony.  He must literally say one thing, but mean the opposite.

His strategy is to mention something positive about Caesar, then follow that with the refrain (or something very close to it):  But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man.

An example or two:

Caesar made Rome wealthy

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But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man.

Or,

Caesar turned the crown down three times

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But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man.

Using this method, Antony convinces the mob how wrong the conspirators were to assassinate Caesar, and incites them to riot against Brutus. 

Read the study guide:
Julius Caesar

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