Throughout history literature obtains persuasion and in the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar it is presented to highest extent in order to grasp the mind of the audience. The play takes place in ancient Rome where Caesar is the leader and is assassinated by Brutus and the Congressman. A product from his death are two sides, one that sees Caesar’s death as a positive action for Rome and another side which believes his death should be avenged. Even though Antony and Brutus used repetition, loaded words, and rhetorical questions in their persuasive speeches to Rome, Antony ultimately used all of these strategies more effectively. Repetition is used in both of Antony and Brutus’ speeches. They use it to convey a stronger message in order to persuade the people of Rome to follow their beliefs. For example Antony says “I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men.
” (J.C. 3.2. 55-57). This quotation shows how Antony repeatedly using the word wrong to emphasize how wrong they were.
Brutus also uses repetition to strengthen his side but falls short to Antony’s use of the same technique. “Mine honour, and have respect to mine honour”(J.C 3.
2 4 ). The loaded words allow for a stronger emotions through the words to produce a better speech. Antony uses his knowledge more efficiently ultimately to push his agenda forward. Even though both speeches had similarities they both had differences. Antony used anecdotes and sarcasm, while Brutus uses rhetorical questions and connotations. These are different ways to persuade an audience that have different levels of effectiveness. Antony uses three main points in his anecdote.
The first point of the anecdote is when Antony is saying how Caesar is honorable and ambitious with sarcasm. Secondly Antony makes a remark about the captives of Rome and about their deaths then again questioning his ambition. Thirdly he breaks down how Caesar refused the crown three times, and questions his ambitions once more. This is relevant by showing that there are different ways to persuade a nation and one way to do so is through storytelling and sarcasm. Brutus had a different way of approaching this task. His way to do so was through rhetorical questions, such as: “Who is here so base that would be a bondman?” (JC 3.2 20-21). That question was not meant to be answered but meant to be thought upon to draw a deeper level of insight in order to side with his argument.
Over all the different techniques allow for different levels of effectiveness, and Antony was clearly more effective. The techniques used in both of these ancient arguments are not equal. Antony has a stronger argument that allows for a much more board influence throughout Rome.
A technique that Antony used that is much secure than Brutus’ is figurative language. “And dip their napkins in his sacred blood, Yea beg a hair of him for memory, And dying, mention it within their wills,” (JC 3.2 63-65). Figurative language is a potent tool to leave a certain emotion and image in the audiences head in to have a stronger persuasion. Another reason why Antony had a stronger speech is because the way he used his rhetorical questions.
Here is a perfect example of this: “You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him” (JC 3.2 30-31). This shows how he is taking the audience of Rome for another trip down the rabbit hole. Making them think beyond basic, simplistic thoughts. The persuasion used here is stronger than what anything Brutus has to say, but others may say otherwise.
Others may argue saying that Brutus had a more persuasive speech overall due to the weakness of Antony’s speech. Antony does have a weakness in his speech and it is was the way he used his adjectives. The way he used this was definitely a slight downfall to his side.
“Poor soul! His eyes are red as fire with weeping.” (JC 3.2 45). Even though this weakness, it is still a point that adds to his argument thus making the Brutus’ side less persuasive. With this it allows for an amazing speech and a much stronger argument. Using similar strategies don’t always allow for equal bodies of work.
The similarities did not match up ultimately Antony had a stronger speech. The way things matched up in the differences it wasn’t equal, Brutus’ techniques weren’t up to par with Antony’s. Even in the parts were Antony showed weakness he still prevailed with overall stronger persuasion. Persuasion is used to influence a large amount of people in order to make a movement.