Thursday, June 5, 2014

essay on julius caesar 2

Consider Caesar’s funeral in Act 3 Scene 2.
a)      How do the Plebians respond to Brutus explanation for Caesar’s death? (9 mrks)
b)      Discuss the strategies employed by Antony to move the crowd. (8 mrks)
c)      Which of the two speakers was more convincing? Give reasons for your response. (8 mrks)



  • Brutus explains that Caesar had to die because he had become too ambitious. He claimed he killed Caesar, not because he loved him any less, but because he loved Rome more.
  •  He appealed to their emotions and desires to be free and not be slaves.
  • at first, they were against the death of Caesar. they later changed and supported Brutus as they believed he did it for them. 
  • None wanted to be slaves, or under the rule of an ambitious (overly ambitious) ruler.
  • They fall for him referring to them as friends and lovers.
  • By the end of Brutus' speech they cheer for him to be emperor, and they become reluctant to hear anything else from anyone else.
  • Antony too refers to the people as friends and countrymen, likening himself to them, allowing them to see him as one of them.
  • He is cognizant of the fact that Brutus has won over the crowd, but also knows that they are fickle. he treads lightly, referring to Brutus as an honourable man. 
  • Repetition and rhetorical questions (showing how Caesar was not ambitious) makes the people start questioning their (the conspirators') honour.
  • he strategically pauses to allow the crowd to soak in the information and deliberate among themselves. He knows those who he has convinced will convert the others.
  • Antony reads Caesar's will where he leaves them money and land, proving that Caesar loved them and whoever killed him, did him a great injustice.
  • Showed them Caesar's body riddled with stab wounds. To the people, it would appear to be a slaughter, treating him less than he deserved. This ofcourse angers the mob and leads them to go after the conspirators.
  • Antony's speech is written in prose, versus Brutus who spoke in the iambic pentameter. This gave the impression that Antony's speech was less planned and as such the people would believe he spoke from the heart. Brutus' speech on the other hand seemed more deliberate and staged/ calculated.


  • The people are able to be swayed by Antony's speech.
  • Antony used more techniques (ensuring the desired effect)
  • Brutus' points are refutable
  • Brutus did not cover all his grounds. He was overconfident.


Malique Dawkins
Consider Caesar’s funeral in Act 3 Scene 2.
a)      How do the Plebians respond to Brutus explanation for Caesar’s death? (9 mrks)
b)      Discuss the strategies employed by Antony to move the crowd. (8 mrks)
c)      Which of the two speakers was more convincing? Give reasons for your response. (8 mrks)
In Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the scene where Caesar’s funeral is being held brings out the persuasive techniques of both Brutus and Antony. At the funeral, Brutus and Antony speak to the Plebians, wanting that they are on their side in a war on account of Caesar’s death. The common people listen to them both, Brutus then Antony, but they are more on Antony’s side after both of them speak, as they are easily persuaded and gullible. Due to this, Brutus and Antony cannot be judged on persuasive techniques by the Plebians’ standards. However, through the audience’s or the readers’ views, the better speaker can be identified.
Brutus speaks before Antony to the crowd at Caesar’s funeral. Brutus sends Cassius off with some of the Plebians, while the rest stay with him. He addresses the common people using mainly the use of emotional appeal, one of the persuasive devices. He says that though he killed Caesar, he did not do it because he hated Caesar or loved him any less, but that he loves Rome more, and believed that Caesar was not fit for the power. He asks the crowd if they would rather that Caesar lived and all the slaves would die, or that Caesar would die and all would live free. Brutus also says that he weeps for Caesar and that he had to die. He ends his speech by asking if there are any who think that what he did was wrong, and gave them the impression that such man was not a true Roman, making the crowd remain silent. Due to his use of emotive language, he is able to win the crowd before Antony even reaches the pulpit.
Antony speaks after Brutus when he leaves the funeral. Antony also uses emotive language to persuade the crowd, but his main technique is repetition. He first states that he is not there to praise Caesar, but to bury him. He then goes on to repeatedly say that Brutus said that Caesar was ambitious, after which he states that Brutus is an honourable man. His exaggeration and repetition of this begins to let the Plebians as well as the audience or readers think differently of Brutus. Antony also presents facts that Brutus is wrong, such as when Caesar denied the crown three times. Antony tears up when speaking about Caesar, automatically making the Plebians feel sorry for him and they would want to believe him. They speak amongst themselves while Antony tries to compose himself, saying that Antony may be right as the facts are all there.
Of the two speakers, Antony is the better speaker. This is so because he enables more persuasive techniques than Brutus. A reader or a person in the audience could easily tell that the Plebians are easily persuaded, but it is clear that Antony is the better speaker. Brutus only uses emotive language to persuade the Plebians, which is an effective technique, but it must be accompanied with more techniques, otherwise the speech is not very effective. Antony, however, uses not only emotional appeal, but repetition and facts and statistics. Antony’s proves to be an effective speech.
To conclude, Antony and Brutus, after Caesar’s death, now have to show the crowd which of them is the one who is telling the truth and deserves Caesar’s place. Both of them speak to the Plebians at Caesar’s funeral, and both were able to persuade the crowd (though Antony was more effective in doing so). Shakespeare uses them to bring out persuasive techniques, allowing that they both use one common one, and makes the Plebians take their sides. Antony turns out to be the better speaker, using more persuasive techniques than Brutus, and starts the flame to the raging fire of war to see who is really in power.


Daniel Battick                               4 Pool 2             Ms. Atkins                        Julius Caesar(#2)

Some of the greatest public speaking that Shakespeare has written is found in Act 3 Scene 2 of his play Julius Caesar. The speech of Brutus (lines 13-39) and the speech of Antony (lines 65-242) are extremely significant to the plot of the play. Brutus goes up into the pulpit to address the issue of Caesar’s killing to the common people, or the Plebeians, because they demand to know the reason that he was murdered in cold blood by the conspirators and they must be satisfied. Antony, Caesar’s dear friend, ascends into the pulpit after Brutus has finish speaking. He has obtained permission by the conspirators to give a funeral oration, and he gives quite an oration with various persuasive strategies that move the crowd.
The Plebeians are taken with Brutus’ speech, indeed, they are satisfied. In his speech, he insists that Caesar was great, but ambitious, and for that reason he was killed. Brutus declares to the masses that though he loved Caesar, he loves Rome more, and Caesar’s ambition posed a danger to Roman liberty. The Plebeians hail Brutus as a hero, and they cheer for him. They say “Live Brutus, live, live!” and others say “Give him a statue with his ancestors.” One Plebeian even suggests that Brutus should be Caesar. Also, they now call Caesar a tyrant. Basically, all the Plebeians are now on his side, as they understand why Brutus had to do what he did as he has saved them from oppression. Brutus is now satisfied that he has done his task and has swayed the crowd onto his side. He descends from the pulpit and turns it over to Antony so he can do his funeral oration.
Before Antony can begin, he must subdue the raucous, pro-Brutus crowd. So Antony gains the attention and approval of the Plebeians when he addresses them as friends and gives the perception that he has not come to praise Caesar, but to bury him. Antony explains his purpose so the listeners fully understand the matter being disclosed. While appearing to agree with Brutus’ portrayal of Caesar, Antony rejects it in reality by listing Caesar’s virtues. Repeatedly referring to Brutus as “an honourable man”, Antony’s speech becomes increasingly sarcastic; questioning the claims that Brutus made in his speech that Caesar acted only out of ambition, Antony points out that Caesar brought much wealth and glory to Rome, and three times turned down offers of the crown. Antony’s use of repetition is very persuasive, but he also appeals to the emotions of the people. As he is speaking, he begins to break down in tears for Caesar, and the crowd are swayed by Antony’s grief. One person says “Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping” and another says Antony is the noblest man in Rome. The will is perhaps Antony’s masterstroke. So skilled at focusing his listeners’ attention on a specific detail, he ‘just happens’ to mention the will. The Plebeians plead with Antony to read the will, but he teases them, saying that it is too much for them to know how Caesar much loved them and he ‘fears’ he would wrong the ‘honourable men’ who killed the ambitious Caesar. They shout for him to read it. Antony descends into the crowd, and when he shows them Caesar’s corpse, they weep. When he cleverly praises Brutus’ speech over his own, they move to attack the conspirators. And then Antony reveals how much Caesar’s will left to the people. They swear vengeance to the conspirators and leave. Antony has successfully persuaded the crowd.
Antony is obviously the more convincing of the two speakers. The truth is that Antony uses better persuasive techniques than Brutus and he gets more involved with the people, or rather he goes down to their level. Apart from using rhetorical questions and sarcasm, Antony uses a lot of emotive language. He appeals to the hearts of the Romans and gets them to weep, to love Caesar for everything he did. He addresses them as “good friends, sweet friends” and this is another persuasive technique to get them to be on his side. Brutus does not use any of that language, and it is almost as if he is above them (on the pulpit). But when Antony steps down from the pulpit, it is symbolic of him coming down to their level, to be with them and mourn with them. Just the response of the crowd though clearly shows that Antony is more convincing. They are ready to kill Brutus after Antony’s speech, and that simply portrays the fact that Brutus is less convincing than Antony.
These two speeches at the funeral greatly affect the plot of the play. Brutus thinks he has completely won over the crowd, and rightly so because they all shout for him to be king, but Antony is very adept in the art of public speaking and persuades the people to rise up against Brutus and the other conspirators. In truth Brutus was a fool to let Antony speak in the first place, but Antony takes the opportunity well is certainly more convincing than Brutus in his oratory.

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