Brutus, and Mark Antony both speak in-front of a Roman crowd during the funeral of Julius Ceaser. Both speeches carry strong emotion, and try to provide the crowd with a point. Brutus’ position was that he loved Rome far to much to allow a tyrant to ruin the city’s glory and he would be to the mercy of the people’s punishment, for the assassination of Ceaser to avoid the wrath of the people. But Antony, uses many rhetorical questions and sarcasm to show how Brutus manipulated the crowd into believing him to being heroic in his killing. Both characters speak during the funeral speeches, but Brutus is trying to manipulate the crowd in his favor, where as Mark Antony is only trying to convey, what he believes as, the truth.
Brutus is one of the conspirators in the assassination of Julius Ceaser; but knowing that he will be prosecuted harshly by the crowd he is presenting to at the funeral speeches, Brutus manipulates the crowd into believing the assassination to be a necessary and heroic action. Brutus achieves this by using rhetorical questions, and promising the crowd that if they wished him to kill himself he would out of love for the republic. As well, Brutus says that Julius was over ambitious, and would of hurt the state; so he uses emotional diction to portray his love for the Roman state by saying, “….that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.” (Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Sc. II.) The use of words like lover for the good of Rome, and confessing to have the same dagger for himself makes the crowd believe that Brutus is being sincere. The crowd supported Brutus by saying for him to live, and that he has offended no one. Brutus manipulated the crowd into believing the assassination was the only action for protecting Rome from a ‘tyrant’, out of love for the state; which, until Mark Antony gave his speech to the crowd.
Mark Antony uses sarcasm and other devices to portray that Brutus is lying to the crowd. The most significant way to persuade the crowd to his favor, was the use of Ceaser’s bloody clothing to create a feeling of horror, and shock to the violence committed. As well that compliments, the part of his speech where he says that Ceaser is a victim to the hero of the state. He continues to mock Brutus’ words, by saying that the, “Angel of Ceaser,” would hurt a man he supposed loved. As well, he says that, “If Brutus is an honorable man, then are they [The Conspirators] all honorable men.” (Act III, Sc. II.) using rhetorical questions to evoke questions in Brutus’ speech. Because killing a man, is not considered to be an honorable act; and on top of it he stabbed Ceaser in hope to gain the power of the state; therefore creating the most dishonorable of all the crimes, treason, making Brutus a traitor to his beloved state. The emotional diction is stronger in Antony’s speech by the used of dramatic pauses and that he cannot finish his speech due to being emotionally overwhelmed. Making his speech seemingly more truthful in the way presented; because he does not repeat his main idea as much as Brutus did. Mark Antony’s word choice allows for the crowd to think about the lies that Brutus had said, and mocks the act of the assassination, and evokes such emotion the the crowd is turned against Brutus.
Brutus tries to win over the Roman crowd through heroic images, and the repetition of the theme of love for the state of Rome. Mark Antony uses sarcasm, emotional diction, dramatic syntax, and mockery to win over the crowd that the assassination conspirators are to be punished. Both used various images, and rhetorical devices to appeal to their points to the crowd, on whether the assassination is a noble cause or a evil action ceased upon unjustly to the victim Julius Ceaser.