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Brutus Vs. Antony: Speech Comparison

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Adrian Paul

Ms. Miner

English II/Period 2

10.26.14

Antony vs. Brutus

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare is a classic historical drama in which a powerful beloved leader, Julius Caesar, is assassinated by conspirators. In the wake of his death two people of political significance give speeches to sway the people in their favor: first, his ultimate betrayer, Brutus who was previously his best friend and afterwards Mark Antony his avenger and loyal friend. Out of the two speeches Mark Antony's speech was the most convincing. Antony’s speech was the most credible as well as the most compelling emotionally and logically.

While both Brutus and Mark Antony are both officials of high office, friends of Caesar, and seen by the plebeians as men of high moral standing Brutus is less credible. In his speech Brutus showed he is not loyal to Caesar. “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more”(III.ii.19-22). In the light of murder and the betrayal of his best friend all the credibility Brutus has would be thrown out of the window. The people would no longer be able to trust him. Betrayal of one’s friend is equivalent to betraying your country since harming another great Roman weakens Rome, especially if it causes the civil unrest that Caesar’s death had caused. In both speeches each man tried to retain his accountability by showing his love both for Caesar and his country; however Antony is more credible. In his speech Antony shows that he is a true friend of Caesar’s through his show of emotion. “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, / And I must pause till it come back to me” (III.ii.105-106). It is at this moment that Antony begins to weep for his friend’s death. This action gives his speech credibility as it shows he was truly a friend of Caesar; it also reiterates the fact that Antony is loyal. Through showing vulnerability it made apparent that his heart remained with Caesar even in death. The action is the exact opposite of Brutus’s betrayal, which sets Antony apart from Brutus. One murdered his best friend stabbing the heart of Rome and the other stayed true.

Emotionally Brutus’s speech was over shone by Antony’s. Brutus proclaimed his love for Caesar. “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his” (III.ii.17-19). This fact is highly doubtful due to the murder of Caesar, as previously stated. In addition, the people in the crowd were ignorant plebeians. They were not in a close relationship to Caesar, so by comparison of Brutus’s close standing to Caesar it is obvious that Brutus’s love was unmatched. Brutus’s claim for unmatched love may stand up against the plebeians, but not against Antony. Antony had multiple incidents that were emotionally compelling. First, Antony cries momentarily truly mourning Caesar. Again this drove home the point that he loved Caesar. Crying also elicited the sympathy of the masses. Secondly, he shows Caesar’s brutalized body. An act, which garnered anger towards the traitorous fiends who slew their idolized leader. Thirdly, Antony reads Caesar’s will which shows

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