I can't figure out how to start my essay for the William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar. I have a good thesis but can't find a good quote for the part where Antony says they are all "honorable"...

I can't figure out how to start my essay for the William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar. I have a good thesis but can't find a good quote for the part where Antony says they are all "honorable" men.

 

 

 

Expert Answers
shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is about the assassination of Julius Caesar and the political and military fallout that follows. In Act III, Scene I, the rebellious Roman senators stab Caesar to death. The event you are referring to appears in the next scene, as the Romans attempt to explain their deed to the public. Specifically, Marc Antony is speaking, at first appearing to support the assassination of Caesar, but then turning the crowd against the conspirators through his skillful use of irony.

Antony uses the word “honorable” ten times in his speech. By the end of the speech he has the Roman spectators wondering if the conspirators were really in the right or not, then he concludes with this:

But were I Brutus, and Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesar that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

This is a thinly veiled call for the Romans to revolt against the conspirators, and it works. They immediately set off in search of Cassius and Brutus and the rest.

If I were writing a paper on this part of the play, this would be a good quote to use to show the real intent of Antony's speech. By the time Antony says this he has completely turned the idea of what is honorable on its head. The people no longer believe that Brutus is honorable, which is a tragic turn of events for Brutus, since that is what is most important to him. 

 

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Julius Caesar

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