Julius Ceasar

In Shakespeare\'s Julius Caesar, Decius Brutus and
Mark Antony, both Roman Senators, eulogize Julius Caesar,
each using a different technique and approach. Brutus, in a
somewhat arrogant, to the point, eulogy, attempts to sway
the people. He justifies conspiring against Caesar by stating
that Caesar\'s ambition would have hurt Rome. However, in
Antony\'s eulogy, he focuses on Caesar\'s positive traits, and
cunningly disproves Brutus\' justification for killing Caesar.
The fickle Romans waver between leaders, responding
emotionally, rather than intellectually, to the orators. Brutus
seeks to explain why he conspired against Caesar. He
begins his speech with "Romans, countrymen ...", appealing
to their consciousness as citizens of Rome, who, he later
says, will benefit as freeman with Caesar\'s death. This shows
that Brutus knows how to lure the crowd, appealing to their
better judgement as Romans. He declares that he is an
honorable man, and tells them that he will let them judge the
validity of his claims. That is, he will allow the truth to speak
for itself. This encourages the crowd to believe him, as an
honorable man. He says that he wants them to know the
facts; "Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses
that you may the better judge." Sharing information with the
people is flattering and it almost guarantees acceptance. He
gets their sympathy by saying that he loved Caesar, daring
the people to find anyone who loved Caesar more. Brutus
declares that he never wronged Caesar, that he cried for
Caesar\'s love, was happy for his greatness, honored him for
his courage, but had to kill him because of Caesar\'s
ambition. He says that the reason for killing Caesar was his
great love for Rome. He justifies his actions by saying that he
loved Caesar but, "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I
loved Rome more." He then asks rhetorically if the people
would want to live their lives as slaves under Caesar\'s rule or
would they prefer to live as freemen with Caesar dead. To
anyone insulted by his speech he wonders if, as Romans
who love their freedom, they could be offended or reject
what he, Brutus, says. He poses the question, "Who is here
so base that would be a bondman?" He stresses the point,
repeating the line, "If any, speak, for him have I offended." "I
pause for a reply.", allows them to respond to his rhetorical
questions, giving them an even greater sense that he cares
about them and their opinions. They can only respond, "
None, Brutus, none." That is, none are offended, they do not
disagree or argue with his words or his actions. Mark
Antony\'s eulogy utilizes a different approach. He starts out
by addressing the crowd as "Friends" because he wants to
come to them as a friend rather than a ruler trying to gain
power. He then says, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise
him.", thus he can ease in praises of Caesar without the
crowd stopping him. He sounds very sincere when he says,
"The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious....
For Brutus is an honorable man." He repeats that statement
three more times becoming increasingly sarcastic, saying
finally, "Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and sure he was
an honorable man." Since the people responded positively to
Brutus\' speech, Antony could not insult Brutus\' honesty in a
direct manner. Yet, Antony disproves Caesar\'s ambition
with three examples. One is when he gave the ransom of
captives to the public treasury and not his own, another
when he cried with the poor people, and finally when he
refused the kingship that Antony offered him, three times.
Anyone who was ambitious would never have done any
such things. Antony says, "I speak not to disprove what
Brutus spoke." , but that is exactly what he does. Antony is
using a dramatic effect on the people, first by entering on the
stage with the body of Caesar, and at the end stating that his
heart is still with the body of Caesar, ending his speech
weeping. In justifying Caesar and disproving Brutus, the
people see Antony as a potential successor to Caesar. They
are swayed to him by his dramatics, his underhanded way of
making a point, his repetition, and compelling proof of
Caesar\'s concern. He is able to get the people to question
the rightness of killing Caesar. He has planted doubt in the
people\'s minds, in all areas except that he, Antony, is, "poor
soul", an honorable. The difference between the eulogies
shows us the importance of style of speech. Both try to
appeal to the people, and both use repetition, but Brutus
takes a defensive approach, leaving the people to their own
conclusions. However, Antony takes a prosecuting