What are six rhetorical skills that Antony says during his speech in which he lacks?

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Antony downplays his own rhetorical skills in order to direct the mob to riot, without really directing the mob to riot.  Before he was allowed to give the speech, he promised not to blame the conspirators for killing Caesar.  So he incites the mob to violence without directly telling them to riot.  In effect, he says that if he had the rhetorical skills of Brutus, he would move the mob to riot, but since he doesn't possess Brutus-like skills, he cannot.  Of course, his indirect, ironic directions succeed admirably and the crowd riots.

The passage you need follows.  I'll put the skills mentioned in bold lettering:

I am no orator, as Brutus is:

But (as you know me all) a plain blunt man

That love my friend, and that they know full well

That gave me public leave to speak of him,

For I have neither writ [written speech], nor words [fluency], nor worth [reputation],

Action [gestures], or utterance [style of speaking], nor the power of speech

To stir men's blood:  I only speak right on [directly].

I tell you that which you yourselves do know.

Those are the rhetorical skills that Antony pretends not to possess.  The final six in bold are probably specifically what you're looking for.

Read the study guide:
Julius Caesar

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question