What are the techniques used in the following dialogue?Antony: …And now, Ocatavius, Listen great things: Brutus and Cassius Are levying powers; we must straight make head; Therefore let our...

What are the techniques used in the following dialogue?

Antony: …And now, Ocatavius,

Listen great things: Brutus and Cassius

Are levying powers; we must straight make head;

Therefore let our alliance be combin’d,

Our best friends made, and our best means stretch’d out;

And let us presently go sit in council

How covert matters may be best disclos’d,

And open perils surest answered.

Octavius: Let us do so: for we are at the stake,

And bay’d about with many enemies; And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,

Millions of mischiefs.

Expert Answers
parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most apparent technique is the use of the oxymoron, the juxtaposition of opposites for effect. For example, when Anthony says:

"How covert(secret) matters may be best disclos'd (revealed), or "And open perils(dangers) surest (in safety) answered,"

he is playing on the idea of opposites as well as things not really being as they seem. Octavius picks up on this and answers:

"And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,   Millions of mischiefs."

The fact of one smiling implies affinity or kindness whereas, in fact, emnity and ill intent are there instead.

References to the head and heart symbolic of thought and feeling are examples of metonymy (a part representing the whole, for example the words "crown" or "throne" or "sceptre" standing for a monarchy).

There is also a bit of alliteration, the repetition of the initial sound of a word, sucn as 'some that smile' or 'millions of mischiefs.' Then in the same light there is assonance, the repetition of a particular vowel sound for effect:

...we must straight make head...  (Antony)

...we are at the stake, And bay’d...  (Octavius)

 

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Julius Caesar

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