After the assassination of Julius Caesar, his comrades Brutus and Antony both made speeches to the Roman people addressing his death. While Brutus asserts that he died for the good of the state and his remorse of his obligation to kill Caesar, Antony honors Caesar’s deeds to the state, and coerces the people against the assassination. Brutus claims that Caesar had to be taken out of power for the good of Rome, and that he is remorseful for having to murder his beloved friend.
He solemnly asserts, “not that [he] loved Caesar less, but that [he] loved Rome more. ” Employing clever syntactical techniques, Brutus emphasizes to the citizens of Rome his superior love of Rome, while still keeping his remorse for his murder. Repeating the word ‘loved’, he is able to persuade the audience to pity him for having to kill his dear friend, yet honoring his for his noble deed to the state.
He expresses further repentance of Caesar’s death in his explanation of his death: “As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears of his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valor; and death for his ambition. Resorting to parallel structures and repetition of emotions, Brutus emphasizes his love and joy for Caesar’s successes, yet manifests his unshakable loyalty to the state and its people when he went too far.
Julius Caesar: Betrayed by His Peers Julius Caesar was the great leader of the Roman Empire. He was a tragic hero with a tragic flaw. Many thought he was well suited for his position, but his fellow politicians thought otherwise. The tragedy of Marcus Brutus should be of great importance because his jealousy showed disloyalty and how friends can be traitors, especially in Caesar's case. ...
In response to Brutus’s speech, Antony identifies with the audience, and coerces them of Caesar’s unnecessary assassination. He explains that Caesar’s action were always for the good of Rome and its people, and there is nothing to suggest that he was ambitious: “The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious: if it were so, it was a grievous fault… He hath brought many captives home to Rome whose ransom did the general coffers fill: did this in Caesar seem ambitious… I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
” Raising rhetorical questions, Antony puts the responsibility on the audience to decide for themselves whether or not Caesar was ambitious, while he simply brings the facts to light. Contrasting with Brutus’s speech, Antony submissively connects with the audience on an equal footing, while Brutus simply asserts to them what is true. Antony expands on Caesar’s noble deeds to the state by inciting curiosity of his will.
He reveals to his audience, “you are not wood, you are not stones, but men; and being men, bearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you, it will make you mad: ‘tis good you know not that you are his heirs,; for, if you should, O, what would come of it! ” By refraining from revealing to the Romans Caesar’s will, Antony induces mystery surrounding the testament, which he later reveals entrusts the citizens with riches. He publicizes Caesar’s good deeds of both before and after his assassination, contrasting with Brutus, who only gives his view of Caesar before his death.
Exhibited by his following of the Romans, Antony’s speech was clearly more effective than Brutus’s, because Antony lets the audience make their own decision on what to think of Caesar. Although Antony enlightens them of his endeavors and guides them to their decisions, Antony still recognizes that their making the conclusion by themselves is far superior to Brutus’s method of assert what is so and what is not. Although any hidden ambitions of Antony’s have not been revealed by this speech, he definitely has the Roman population on his side for whatever events are to follow.