In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, what request does Antony speak at Caesar's funeral? What reassurance does Brutus give him?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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At Caesar's funeral in act 3, scene 2 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, a couple of things are said that can be interpreted as requests made by Mark Antony. One request is to speak his mind to the citizens of Rome at the funeral. Brutus declares to the citizens of Rome that they should not side with Brutus's reasons for assassinating Caesar without first hearing Antony speak in Caesar's defense. We see Brutus giving reassurance that he will allow Antony to speak at the funeral when he says to the crowd of Roman citizens, "I do entreat you, not a man depart, / Save I alone, till Antony have spoke" (65-66).

When speaking to the crowd, a request Antony makes is that the crowd let him read Caesar's will, saying that after the crowd has heard the will, they will surely "kiss dead Caesar's wounds / And dip their napkins in his sacred blood" (142-43). The people reassure Antony that they want to hear the will; however, before he reads the will, Antony plays a rhetorical trick by saying that he fears he will "wrong the honorable men" who have justly killed Caesar, which incites the citizens to call the men "traitors." Hence, by the time he reads the will in which Caesar leaves a portion of his wealth and estate to every citizen of Rome, Antony has already incited the citizens to rise up in rebellion against Brutus and the rest of the conspirators.

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