Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the basic difference between the two funeral orations of Brutus and Mark Antony?

The basic difference between the funeral orations of Brutus and Mark Antony is that Brutus appeals to logic while Mark Antony appeals to emotions.

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The basic difference between the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony is that Brutus, characteristically, appeals to reason and logic, while Antony, characteristically, appeals to emotions. Brutus is an introverted, solitary philosopher, and his speech to the citizens is totally in character. He explains his reasons for killing Caesar. He is also a trained orator and delivers a sort of model of classic rhetoric. This is particularly obvious in the balanced sentences he uses in his opening remarks.

Hear me for my cause, 
and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine
honor, and have respect to mine honor, that you may
believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your
senses, that you may the better judge. 

Brutus is a rational man and believes that other men can be persuaded by reason. He is anxious to justify himself. His speech is full of the word "I." He never once mentions Cassius or any of the other conspirators. His major character trait is that he is a thinker. He expects...

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pinkytune123 | Student

Marcus Brutus and Mark Antony - both of them at the market place in Caesar's funeral held a speech regarding Caesar. Marcus Brutus was not a mind-capturing speaker and was so a simple-tongued fellow. Mark Antony, on the other hand, is a powerful orator with a extreme sense of bewitching the audience by his honey-filled words. Brutus, foolishly enough, let Mark Antony live after assassinating Julius Caesar. This was one of his greatest mistakes in the story which caused nothing but, his doom. As, said Brutus was not a powerful orator, however, still, as a result of being too idealist and having lack of experience in taking realistic decision, permitted Mark Antony to have a speech after him, which meant that he could oppose everything he said as well as can make a plot against him by enraging the folk. So, according to the story, this is how, the two characters came to give speeches at Caesar’s funeral.

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Pointing out their major differences in speech; Brutus was not as lively and emotional while giving speeches like Antony. The main objective of his speech was to explain the people why he killed Caesar and to convince them. He, as his goal was to be accomplished, explained the reason he killed Caesar in a simple but charming manner. Though, his speech was somewhat attractive, but; he gave too idealistic proofs and really did not sum up any practical proofs dealing with reality. That shows that Brutus was well at giving idealistic speeches that could usually succeed in making its course but; he never gave any real proofs showing that why Caesar was ambitious, unfair as a dictator.

On the other counter; Mark Antony is the one who understood the common people and crowd psychology. He used many tactics to win the support of the crowd and turn them against the conspirators. He was also realistic and he gave many real examples supporting his case. There are some evidences below:-

  • Action -commenced his oration with a mind-attracting introduction ---

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. 

Purpose/Effect- Mark Antony speaking in this way made the people listen to speech more attentively.

  • Action - said Caesar was a true and faithful friend –

Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:

Purpose/Effect- After the people get trapped in his word, he tells this for a cunning scheme/purpose. This part of the speech begins the praise of Caesar.

  • Action – said Brutus was an honorable man after giving some real examples showing that what Brutus said of Caesar is not true.

The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.

Purpose/Effect- This is the turning point. This made the people convince that Caesar is not as what Brutus claims him to be as well as also did not refer to “disapproving what Brutus spoke”.

  • Action – Gave the practical example of Caesar refusing the crown –

You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Purpose/Effect- This hitted the people’s mind. It made the people remember for the first time a notable example of Caesar being astonishingly ambitionless that they had nearly forgotten.

  • Action – Produced Caesar’s will with pretended unwillingness–

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For, if you should, O, what would come of it!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?

Purpose/Effect – cunningly, made the people emotional at Caesar’s generosity

  • Action – Made them gather round Caesar’s corpse –

You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,

  • Action -  Read Caesar’s will-

Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:
Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
Alas, you know not: I must tell you then:
You have forgot the will I told you of.

Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs forever, common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?

  • Action – Pointed to the tears in Caesar’s garment –

Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,

…………………………………………………………………………………………............

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

From these, I am sure you can understand the difference between the two speeches.