William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar utilizes the effect of persuasive techniques in Antony’s and Brutus’ funeral speeches. Antony’s speech and Brutus’ speech are very different from one another, and they both used persuasive techniques along with rhetorical devices. William wrote the speeches as a point to reach out to the citizens for them get the memo of the final point of the speech. Brutus and Antony both used persuasive techniques used to sway the audience. Brutus and Antony stated pathos in both their speeches, which can be referred to emotional appeal that announces the audience’s feelings. Brutus stated, “Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead” is a pathos trying to show emotional appeal. Brutus is telling citizens they wanted Caesar to be alive and for them to be slaves than him still dead.
Mark Antony said, “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me” is also a pathos. Mark Antony delivered a more persuasive speech than Brutus simply because the only goal Brutus had was to persuade the audience that killing Caesar was the correct act to do. Antony’s goal was to bring together the citizens to revenge Caesars tragic death.
Brutus appeals to the audiences’ reason of logic, whereas Antony appeals to the citizens’ emotions. Brutus’ rhetorical devices are very sound but easy to understand. He uses parallelism structure to urge his point “as he was valiant, I honor him; as he was ambitious, I slew him”. He models himself as Caesar’s best friend, believing that will help them see the honor of the murder separate from emotional feelings. In contrast, Antony’s speech was heavily laden with irony. He insists upon Brutus’ honor, but then repeats the phrase “Brutus is an honorable man” to stress that the truth is really opposite of what Mark Antony stated. Antony takes a dramatic pause supposedly to get himself together, even though all this does is inflame the crowd.
Lastly, Antony uses a document to prove that Brutus’ claims are incomplete to further enrage the crowd. In conclusion, in William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Brutus’ funeral speeches were very different from one another. When Brutus spoke at Caesar’s funeral, he appealed to the citizen’s logic and when Antony spoke, he spoke to the emotions of the citizens. Brutus’ funeral speech was not as successful in persuading the crowd as was Antony’s. Antony was very persuasive in his ability to manipulate the emotions of the citizens by having them turn against Brutus.