In Julius Caesar, whose speech was more effective, Brutus's or Antony's? Why?

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Mark Antony is the better rhetorician, and his speech is more effective than Brutus's.

One crucial mistake Brutus made (beyond letting Antony speak at all) was allowing Antony to speak after him. Beyond that, however, while Brutus gave a competent and even moving speech, his goal was less ambitious than...

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Mark Antony is the better rhetorician, and his speech is more effective than Brutus's.

One crucial mistake Brutus made (beyond letting Antony speak at all) was allowing Antony to speak after him. Beyond that, however, while Brutus gave a competent and even moving speech, his goal was less ambitious than Antony's. Brutus wanted to justify the conspirators in their assassination of Caesar, a beloved leader. He does that very effectively by appealing to the crowd, telling them that although he loved Caesar, he loved Rome more. He convinces the crowd that Caesar was possibly on the road to tyranny and that rather than being self-interested, the conspirators did what they did to save their country. By the end of the speech, Brutus has turned the crowd his way and dodged the bullet of being seen as a cold-blooded assassin.

A speech designed to save one's own skin, however, isn't likely to have the resonance of a speech like Antony's, that rises out of his deep love for Caesar and outrage at his death. Antony does what Brutus does, which is to appeal to the crowd, but he goes beyond Brutus. First, having promised not to say anything negative about Brutus and the conspirators, he nevertheless manages to mock and cast aspersions on them by repeating over and over that they were "honorable men" until it sounds like the opposite. Second, he speaks at greater length and from his heart about his love for Caesar and Caesar's love for the people. Third, he uses props, showing the crowd Caesar's knife slashed and bloody robe, then revealing that Caesar treated the people generously in his will. By the time he is done, the crowd is as angry at the conspirators as he is and out for blood. Antony doesn't simply want to justify himself: he wants to incite the crowd against the conspirators, and in that he succeeds.

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Mark Antony's speech is much more effective for the simple reason that it rouses the Roman mob to fury at the loss of their late beloved leader, Julius Caesar. It therefore changes the political situation in Rome immediately.

Brutus's speech was perfectly adequate as far as it went in that it pacified the mob for a brief period of time. But once Mark Antony takes to the speaker's rostrum, it's a different story entirely. He doesn't just want the plebs to be persuaded by his speech, as Brutus did; he wants to move them to action, to get them to rise up and take revenge against the gang of traitors and conspirators who brutally murdered their hero.

Mark Antony proves himself so much more effective at playing upon the masses' emotions to get them to do what he wants. Brutus, on the other hand, like all the conspirators, has a haughty contempt for the plebs and so is unable to connect with his audience on an emotional level. He can use reason to persuade them that Caesar's death was necessary for the good of Rome, but he can't manipulate their emotions and get them to believe deep down that Rome is better off without the man they loved and revered.

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Like many a great speaker, Marc Antony does not overestimate his audience.  He speaks to the crowd, rather than above it as Brutus does in his lofty speech of honor and other abstract ideas. Antony appeals to the baser desires of the plebeians such as greed and envy.

In addition, Antony manipulates words better, making use of several rhetorical devices. such as repetition and the use of emotional words.

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Antony's speech is also the more famous one. His is the one everyone remembers. Even people who have never actually read the play, or know little about the history and don't know who either of them are, have heard of and can recognize this speech. That's saying something.
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The "proof is in the putting" in this case. Antony's speech was the one that created its desired outcome. Brutus' speech was well-received but did not achieve its aims.

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I agree with the above post. Antony's speech was more effective. He did have the last word which offered him the opportunity to recap on Brutus's comments. His use of rhetoric outweighed Brutus's use of rhetoric. Antony played up Brutus's use of honorable. In the end, Antony's speech stirred up the people until they were determined to kill Brutus and his conspirators. Brutus should have listened to Cassius and killed Antony as well.

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Antony's was more effective, partly because he went after Brutus, and was able to have the last word, if you will. But it was also because he knew the right buttons to push. He appealed to the emotions of the crowd in a very provocative way that made Brutus's appeals to virtue and to duty ring hollow.

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