Compare and contrast the funeral orations for Julius Caesar given by Brutus and Antony.

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These speeches have very different goals.  Antony wishes to win over the crowd - Brutus only wishes to express his reasoning.  Brutus does not attempt to persuade the crowd; instead, he actually announces he will kill himself if they wish it.  However, his honesty and his reasoning do have an effect on the audience.  Unfortunately, the quite miss Brutus' point... he tries to explain that he loves Rome too much to have it surrended to a tyrant, and yet the crowd is willing to make him one when he is done speaking.

Antony's speech is meant to be persuasive.  Like Brutus, he does sway the crowd, but more to his point - which is that the conspirators must be killed and that Caesar is a hero and victim.  Brutus is straightforward and honest, while Antony is skilled in rhetoric and uses these skills to manipulate.  While his goal should not (necessarily) be seen as self-serving, he does manipulate.  He uses flattering speech, cadence, and dramatic pauses - not to mention props, such as Caesar's bloody toga - to whip the audience up into a riotous frenzy.  It works, too, and all Brutus' careful reaonsing and planning is quickly turned against him.

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Julius Caesar

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