Antony as an Orator
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. (Act 3, Scene 2 line 75) In William Shakesheare play, Julius Caesar, Marcus Antony’s speech convinces and enrages the peasants to get revenge for Caesar’s death. In the following essay I will discuss Antony’s techniques of manipulation and powerful words to change the crowds emotion.
An emotional appeal is used to generate sympathy in a crowd of listeners and destroy Brutus argument. In the following line’s Marcus Antony uses an emotional appeal to convince the crowd as Antony is overcome by sadness. “O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason! Bear with me; my heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me.” (Act 3, Scene 2 lines 106-109) We see the crowd being manipulated by his techniques. The crowd feels sorry for Antony when he turns away to cry. By pausing, Antony punctuates or directs attention to his emotional state.
In these following lines, Marcus Antony uses loaded words to question if the conspirators are truly honorable. We see Antony using loaded words to show that Brutus and the conspirators are not honorable. “I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honorable men. I will not do them wrong; I rather choose to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, then I will wrong such honorable men.” (Act 3, Scene 2 lines 125-129) Antony uses Brutus’s words against him. Tries to make the crowd question if Brutus is an honorable man. Antony show’s that maybe Caesar wasn’t that ambitious. Antony sarcastically says that Brutus is an honorable man.
Marcus Antony uses hasty generalization to show that Caesar cared for the crowd. Antony says that Caesar cried along with the people. “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.” (Act 3, Scene 2 lines 92-94) This is used to show to the crowd that Caesar cared for them. Antony tells the crowd that Caesar didn’t have it in him to be ambitious. Antony tells the crowd that Caesar only did well for the people.
Facts and statistics were used by Marcus Antony to prove to the crowd that Caesar was ambitious. Antony tells the crowd that Caesar couldn’t have been ambitious. “You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” “Marked ye his words? He would not take the crown, therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.” (Act 3, Scene 2 lines 97-99; 114-115) Mark Antony uses the fact that Caesar refused the crown three times to prove that he wasn’t ambitious. Antony has the crowd question if Caesar was ambitious. We know that Antony is successful when we here the fourth plebeian speak out.
Marcus Antony uses many different techniques such as emotional appeal, loaded words, hasty generalization and facts and statistics to change the crowd’s ideas of Brutus’s reasons for killing Caesar. William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar; the peasants are convinced to revenge Caesar’s death by Marcus Antony’s speech. Marcus Antony is a good orator and knows how to manipulate the crowd’s feelings to his advantage.