In Julius Caesar, the two speeches are compared a lot.  But most people would say Mark Antony's speech was more effective. And it was. But what people fail to mention is that Brutus' speech was...

In Julius Caesar, the two speeches are compared a lot. 

But most people would say Mark Antony's speech was more effective. And it was. But what people fail to mention is that Brutus' speech was equally great

Brutus might come off as a traitor, and he is, but he had a point to prove. He killed Julius Caesar for the sake of Rome, as he put it. And his speech was effective as he stirred up a commotion among the people. But the reason that Marc Antony's speech is branded most effective is because while Brutus called on people's logic, Marc Antony played with the crowd's feelings and emotion

His speech had a greater effect as the human mind is most often dominated by the heart, and the logic is killed. 

In my opinion, while Antony sought Justice, he also didn't play fair. Brutus' speech was more straightforward and honest.

Does anyone else feel the same way? I would like to know your opinion on this. 

Thank you. 

 

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In many ways  Brutus is the tragic hero of the play. Much of Shakespeare's play was based on historical accounts of the actual assassination, and readers would have known that Mark Anthony was not really an admirable character, but instead a demagogue and a bit of a decadent. Brutus, on the other hand, is such a strong supporter of the Republic and opponent of tyranny that he is willing to lay down his life for his beliefs. One of the reasons Cassius is so insistent on Brutus being part of the conspiracy is that people looked up to Brutus as an upright and noble character. Even Mark Anthony's final speech in the play acknowledges this. Mark Anthony says:

This [Brutus] was the noblest Roman of them all.
... He only in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
... Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man.”
 
The phrase "this was a man" is the English equivalent of the Latin "Ecce homo", the phrase normally inscribed at the bottom of a crucifix to describe Christ. Thus when Shakespeare, himself a Christian writing for a Christian audience, uses the phrase, we see that he is emphasizing that Brutus was a sort of martyr for his ideals.
 
In light of this, you are absolutely right in seeing Brutus' speech as appealing to reason and Mark Anthony as manipulating emotions to make the citizens act as a mob. He appeals to self-interest and sentiment as opposed to moral ideals and reason. I think Shakespeare is doing this deliberately -- we are not meant to admire Mark Anthony, but to regard his success, and that of other demagogues as harming society.
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