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The exigence of Marc Antony's speech in William Shakespeares play "Juliu

s Ceaser" is to provoke the citizens to revolt against the conspirators. Antony
has this passion because his good friend, and leader of the Romans, Julius Cease
r has just been brutally murdered by the conspirators. This greatly upsets him s
o he asks the conspirators if he can speak at Ceaser's funeral under thier leave
, and suprisingly to the conspirators his powerful speech compells the citizens
to force the conspirators out of Rome. Marc Antony's funeral oration rovides num
erous examples of thetorical appeals, revealing how the art of persuasion can in
cite a crowd to violence.
Antony's word choice, or diction, is very important to the power of his
speech. He choose his words carefully as to create rhetorical effect and tone. W
ords like "And, sure, he is an honourable man"(III.II.27) create more of a sarca
stic tone, which he uses to criticize Brutus indirectly and without making the c
onspirators believe he is going against them. Later words like "My heart is in t
he coffin there with Ceaser and I must pause till it come back to me;" (III.II.3
5) create a mournful tone, which he uses to show his sympathy towards Ceaser and
get the audience to feel sympathetic towards himself so they are on his side ra
ther than the conspirators.
Antony also uses his diction to create rhetoricall appeals. Antony's mos
t powerful appeals are his use of alliteration "He was my friend, faithful and j
ust to me" (III.II.12) and his rhetorical questions "Did this in Ceaser seem amb
itios?"(III.II.17), "...was this ambition?" (III.II.24). He uses these to quietl
y criticize the conspirators and persuade the audience to believe in his favor.
Antony didnt have much credibility as a speaker, as he wasnt seen as smart to th
e Romans, because he was a warman. Since he wasnt seen as smart, he didnt appeal
to the Romans logical appeal. As his speech goes on, however, the audience disc
overs how smart he can be and he gains credibility. Antony does have one thing t
o begin with and that is his appeal to the emotions, he was one of Ceasers good
friends and is mourning for Ceaser as he is presenting his speech to the Romans.
Antony uses all of these appeals to gain the trust of the Romans and to convinc
e them to revolt against the conspirators.
Antony's speech contains much figurative language. His figurative langua
ge is present with multiple metaphors such as "...lend me your ears" (III.II.1)
when he is not literally asking for their ears but rather asking for them to lis
ten him instead of to the conspirators. Another powerful metaphor he uses is "My
heart is in the coffin there with Ceaser" (III.II.34) he is saying that a part
of him has died along with Ceaser and that he is mourning, as should everyone el
In response to his speech the crowd revolts against the conspirators. By
causing this revolt Antony has met his goal for his speech, and his use of rhet
oric and figurative language have persuaded the Romans. He was able to persuade
them because he cleverly planted hidden messages into his words like "And, sure,
he is an honourable man" (III.II.27) it is sarcasm saying that Brutus really is
nt an honourable man because he just stabbed his friend in the back. Overall Ant
ony's speech was a success.