In Julius Caesar, what devices does Antony use in his speech to the mob in order to instigate them against the murderers?

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Antony appeals to the emotions of the crowd largely through repetition, and, to some extent, irony . When he reiterates the statement that "Brutus is an honourable man," it's evident in context that he means the opposite. If someone has to keep saying the same thing over and over, most...

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Antony appeals to the emotions of the crowd largely through repetition, and, to some extent, irony. When he reiterates the statement that "Brutus is an honourable man," it's evident in context that he means the opposite. If someone has to keep saying the same thing over and over, most people would question its validity: it is the classic "protesting too much" phenomenon referred to by another Shakespeare character in another play. Antony's point is that Brutus is a phony—that the high-sounding words the man spoke just five minutes earlier were actually a cover for an indefensible act. The repetitions continue in Antony's rhetorically asking "was Caesar in this ambitious" as he lays out one piece of evidence after another that this is not the way Caesar was.

Antony weeps openly when he says his heart is in the coffin with Caesar. We know, and the crowd must sense as well, that his emotion is genuine. Yet it is again overlaid with irony in his saying he does not wish to read the will. This is the clincher, because Antony realizes that if anything will move the average working people on the street, it is that Caesar cared about their welfare. Finally, he uses visual evidence of the crime, showing them Caesar's mantle and describing (which Antony could actually not know) which stab wound came from which conspirator, culminating in the striking "most unkindest cut of all" phrase about Brutus. Here, the double-superlative "most unkindest" gives the greatest force possible to his statement. In all, Antony's emotional, repetitive, visually affecting and even exaggerated style is the opposite of Brutus's unfortunate attempt to appeal to the crowd's intelligence rather than its passions.

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Antony masterfully plays the crowd. He does not attack them or shout about how terrible the conspirators are. Instead, he establishes a bond with them, emphasizing that all of them are Romans, no matter how they initially feel about the assassination. However, he does put in little digs at Brutus and company, calling them "honorable men" before he lays into them.

He lists the many good things Caesar did, then follows them up with the grievances the conspirators had against Caesar. In this way, he appears to be even-handed in responding to their arguments while being rather critical indeed. Antony is mainly interested in refuting the idea that Caesar was ambitious. At one point, he stops, claiming that he is too grief-stricken to continue, giving his argument an element of pathos—he wants the crowd to believe his sincerity.

The reading of Caesar's will is what cements Antony's success. The contents of the will persuade the people that Caesar only ever had the good of Rome in mind. This, not any rage-induced tirade, is what causes them to turn against Brutus and the conspirators in the end.

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Antony was very masterful in his oration to the crowd. They are very hostile to him as he begins. First, he establishes a common bond. He calls them his friends and countrymen and reminds them that they and he are all Romans. Since they are expecting him to speak against Brutus and Caesar, he disarms them at once by saying he does not come to praise Caesar. In other words, he further neutralizes their hostility. As a persuasive technique, this is refuting an anticipated argument.

The remainder of Antony's speech is masterful persuasion. At various times he uses rhetorical questions framed to make the point he intends to make. He employs anecdote by telling them of the summer night he first saw Caesar wear the cloak which now covers his corpse in the marketplace. He uses strong emotional appeal. He stresses his friendship with Caesar, thus making Caesar a friend, a human being. He plays upon the crowd's greed by raising the facts of Caesar's will. The will also plays upon emotion in that it makes the crowd feel that Caesar cared for them personally. Throwing off Caesar's cloak to reveal his many stab wounds and then reliving the moment of his assassination is also very emotional. Finally, Antony uses verbal irony (sarcasm) in the repetition of the idea that Brutus and the others are such "honorable" men. And, actually, repetition itself is a persuasive technique. Taken together, these persuasive techniques in Antony's skillful hands very effectively turn the crowd against Brutus and the conspirators.

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