The following sample essay on Marc Anthony Caesar provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” is a play which elucidates many themes such as ambition, jealousy, tragedy, honour and integrity. It was written between the period 1597 and 1600 AD. The play is based upon actual events which took place in Rome over two millenniums ago. At the beginning of the play Shakespeare illustrates how Julius Caesar, following a successful campaign, returns to Rome and is offered the crown.
He further explains that Cassius, a senior member of the senate, fearing for the republic, heads a conspiracy to murder Caesar. As the play continues, Cassius manages to invite many to aid his cause amongst whom was Brutus, a high-ranked member of the senate. The outcome of the conspiracy led to the death of Caesar in the capitol whilst the latter was totally unaware of the conspiracy.
Following the death of Caesar, Brutus confronts the citizens of Rome and explains to them how his involvement in the conspiracy was for a pure and sincere intention and not to commit a cruel act of injustice. The aftermath of this speech was the consolation of the public and their total appreciation of this noble act.
Concluding his speech, Brutus attempting to fully reassure the crowd, requested Mark Anthony to add a few words in appreciation of what he had just done.
Anthony was a close companion of Caesar so his approval of the conspiracy would be very valuable in proving to the public the righteousness of the act. However Anthony, either for his own benefit or for justice, spoke against the conspiracy. This speech was highly effective and probably the turning point of the entire play. It was the reason for war and the reason for vengeance being taken. Anthony’s powerful speech confines the true essence of politics and how orating influences are greater than any physical appliances or mannerisms to deter a people. During the following essay I shall attempt to analyse how Anthony’s speech was influential and how he found it easier to appeal to emotion rather than reasoning to manipulate the citizens. Anthony’s speech was a lot more subtle that that of Brutus. He uses more indirect methods to manipulate the crowd.
He was able to read the mood of the audience whilst he was addressing them. He also paused three times during his speech, causing suspense, which consequently added to the drama that he wanted to create. In addition he even lied and pretended just so that he could gain the interests of his audience. Anthony’s tone of speech varied as he spoke. This can be observed from the different attitudes portrayed in the manner in which he spoke. By varying his tone of voice, Anthony would be able to gain the interest of his audience, whereas if it were monotonous, the speech would sound boring. The opening few words of a speech are always important in drawing the attention of the audience. Anthony addresses the citizens as “Friends, Romans, countrymen”, in contrast to Brutus who addressed them as “Romans, countrymen and lovers”. This variance, although slight, shows a major contrast in the attitudes of Brutus and Anthony. Brutus clearly demonstrates that his love for Rome is greater than any affection of an individual or close relation. Even in his statement “Not that I lov’d Caser less but that I lov’d Rome more. ” It is evident of his keenness in the development of Rome over any prejudice feeling which would oppose a peaceful and blissful future in Rome.On the contrary, Mark Anthony firstly appeals to those who have close relationship with him and then mentions the Romans and countrymen who are insignificant in comparison to those whom are loved and revered. This is a clause leading to his true intention to establish that emotions and intimacy should be considered before the betterment of the state. So Anthony, in reality, is trying to appeal to the emotions of the crowd rather than, like Brutus, appeal to the love of the crowd for Rome and their home.
Immediately after receiving the attention of the crowd, Anthony, carefully considering the mood of the audience, claims “I come to bury Caesar not to praise him”. The public, after listening to Brutus, were fully reassured by the virtue of Caesar’s death. Furthermore the crowd, as one plebeian confirmed, felt that speaking ill of Brutus would be inappropriate and would initiate the audience’s wrath and displeasure. Anthony understood this and therefore decided to take a more subtle approach in degrading Brutus and his conspiracy. As the speech progresses Anthony repetitively mentions the nobility and honour of Brutus and those that assisted him in the murder of Caesar. However Anthony’s true intent was not to dignify Brutus and the other conspirators, rather to debase them. Anthony does this by making honour appear as a deterrent to seeing the good actions of an individual. He mentions honour alongside the killing of a man who “brought many captives home”, “hath wept” and “thrice refused the crown”. This technique that Anthony used was very effective as can be observed from the proclamation of one of the plebeians that “They were traitors: honourable men? Then, after mentioning the virtues of Caesar, Anthony condemns the belief of anybody who said that Caesar was ambitious because “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff”.
Also the rhetorical question “was this ambition? ” is very effective because Caesar’s greatness was just mentioned and by seeing Caesar in a bias way, as Anthony portrayed him, it becomes obvious that Caesar would not be ambitious. Thereafter appealing again to the sympathy of the crowd Anthony states “Bear with me, my heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me”. By saying this Anthony demonstrates to the crowd how he was greatly moved by Caesar’s demise. The audience would obviously think highly of Anthony because, unlike Brutus, Anthony has feelings which are for him unbearable to suppress. The crowd’s appreciation of this quality of Anthony can be further observed by a plebeian’s claim that “Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping”. In addition some of the assertions made by the plebeians indicate their approval of what he had to say, for instance one of them said “Methinks he has much reasoning in his saying”.
Later Anthony turns the speech onto a fabricated will. This will was a deceitful lie which the crowd were instantly attracted to and eager to hear their share. This lie demonstrates how fickle the crowd are because they are now more willing to believe in Anthony’s integrity. They did not pause to reflect whether the will is genuine or not as this may lead to doubts which will consequently lead to the will not being read out and therefore no one being the recipient of the seventy five drachmas promised. At first, Anthony does not read to them the will even after the constant pleas of the crowd. This is indicative of the fact that he only fabricated the will as bait because he wanted to hold them in suspense and keep them enthralled in whatever he had to say. He asks the crowd “Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile? ” He does this in order to calm the crowd so that he could gain their attention. Furthermore Anthony remarks “I fear I wrong the honourable men whose dagger have stabbed Caesar: I do fear it” Anthony pretends to feel guilty. This makes the crowd trust him more because they feel that he is innocence and is speaking for justice and not for power. Shortly afterwards Anthony explains why he doesn’t read the will straightaway. He says “You are not wood, you are not stone but men: and being men hearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you. ” Here Anthony, very cleverly, flatters the crowd. The reason why these words are so effective is because of its contradiction to those words of Marullus, who at the beginning of the play addressed the citizens as “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things”, referring to their fickleness and stupidity.
By saying this, Anthony gains the trust and affection of his audience. With Caesar’s body at his side, Anthony affectionately explains to the crowd “You all do know this mantle, I remember the first time ever Caesar put it on, ’twas on a summer’s evening in his tent”. By saying this again Anthony would seem like a very sensitive and caring man, which everybody adores. Another notable way in which Anthony gets the trust of the audience is by showing that he knew the most intricate details of the incident. He says “Look in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through: see what a rent the envious Casca made: through this the well beloved Brutus stabbed. ” By pretending he knows the order in which Caesar was stabbed, Anthony would be confident that he has the trust of his audience because the crowd would think that he knows all the facts and thus is in a better position to make a judgement. Furthermore Anthony refers to Brutus as being “beloved” and “Caesar’s angel”, which would make the audience feel great animosity towards Brutus, who although so dear to Caesar, betrayed him.
From this, it can be understood clearly that Anthony is appealing to the emotions of the citizens and not logical reasoning to rebel against the conspirators. To show his innocence and his pure intention to stand for justice, Anthony claims “I am no orator as Brutus is; but a plain blunt man … I have neither writ nor words, nor worth, action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, to stir men’s blood. Judging from this, the crowd may have deduced that Anthony is more reliable than Brutus because his speech was directly from the heart and not because he had the “power of speech” as did Brutus. He would also appear as an innocent man who wishes nothing except justice to prevail. Moreover the citizens would feel as though Anthony is not a member of the senate, nor involved in politics but one of them. This gives them an added sense of empathy towards Anthony, because if he is accepted as one of them, they would think of him as a friend who just wants sympathy rather than a senior member of the senate who would need to be treated with respect and honour. Concluding his mutiny against Brutus and the others who conspired against Caesar, Anthony says “And bid them speak to me: but were I Brutus, and Brutus Anthony, there were an Anthony would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue in every wound of Caesar, that should move the stones of Rome, to rise and mutiny. ” By saying this, Anthony is able to give the crowd a final hint of encouragement to “rise and mutiny”. Unlike the way he began his speech, by glorify the conspirators; he ends it by mentioning their wickedness and evilness.
He tells them that if he had the consciousness of Brutus, he would curse Caesar only for power, due to lustful greed and passion. Again Anthony’s innocence would be authenticated because he compares himself to the wickedness of Marcus Brutus. The people of Rome were extremely fickle and easily manipulated. They did not understand the world of politics and how much power they held as citizens of Rome. However there were members of the senate who had great political acumen. They possessed superb understanding of politics. They could very easily influence and change the hearts of an entire nation. Although Mark Anthony was not considered as one of them, after the death of Caesar, Anthony’s insight in the field of politics was recognised. He managed to, very cleverly, manipulate the crowd into believing that the murder of Caesar was an immoral act of injustice and the conspirators only acted out of jealousy and envy for Caesar’s power. Mark Anthony’s speech highlights the fickleness of human beings and how they are easily swayed by the eloquence of speech. The techniques used by Mark Anthony are still being displayed today by contemporary politicians. These techniques are highly effective as Shakespeare shows in “Julius Caesar”.