In Act III of "Julius Caesar," explain why Mark Antony wants to speak at Caesar's funeral and the reactions of Brutus and Cassius

Expert Answers
Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mark Antony is a gifted orator and knows that he will be able to sway the crowd against the conspirators if given the chance to speak.  He is told that he will be allowed to speak at Caesar's funeral only if he says nothing negative about the conspirators.  Cassius does not want to allow Antony to speak at all because he doesn't trust him, but Brutus convinces Cassius to allow Antony to give a eulogy only if he abides by the aforementioned condition.  Brutus is a bad judge of character, and by allowing Antony to speak, it is the beginning of the end for him.  Antony keeps his word to not say anything negative, yet he didn't agree to the TONE he would use.  Antony's skillful use of verbal irony, as well as  his ability to persuade the crowd using pathos (tugging at the heart strings), logos (logic), and ethos (sense of duty) lead to war.  Cassius reminds Brutus of this error in judgement when they come face to face in a parley with Antony and Octavius before going to battle at Philippi.

Read the study guide:
Julius Caesar

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question