Julius Caesar

Compare and contrast the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony in terms of their use of rhetorical devices.


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The easy answer here is that Brutus appeals to the audience's rationality, whereas Antony appeals to their emotions. Brutus' rhetorical devices are sound but easy. He uses parallel structure to stress his point - "as he was valiant, I honor him; as he was ambitious, I slew him." He models himself as Ceaser's best friend, believing that will help them see that the honor of the murder is divorced from emotional feelings. Antony, on the other hand, lays the irony on thick. He stipulates Brutus's honor, but then repeats the phrase "Brutus is an honorable man" rhythmically to stress that the opposite is in fact true. Lastly, Antony takes a dramatic pause to supposedly collect himself, though all is does is enflame the crowd. Lastly, Antony uses a document to prove that Brutus's claims were incomplete. In short, he riles them up where Brutus believes they will 'listen to reason.'