The Power of Brutus' Speech in the Play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Topics: Behavior

Speeches can be very influential when a situation is properly analyzed and you appeal to your audience correctly. William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar gives a prime example of appealing to your audience with Antony’s speech, and failing to do so, with Brutus’ speech. Though both Brutus and Antony spoke at Caesar’s funeral Antony’s speech was far more moving than Brutus’. Antony played into the emotions of his audience whereas Brutus failed to. He told them what they wanted to hear, as well as turning the phrase “honorable men” against the conspirators through his uses of sarcasm.

He also made use of visuals, such as Caesar’s bloody corpse and where it was stabbed and by whom.

He turned the crowd further against Brutus by pointing to where he had stabbed Caesar and accompanying it with the line “This was the unkindest cut of all.” This helped his argument greatly and further proved that these “honorable men” might not be quite so honorable.

Antony also uses Caesar’s will to his advantage, using it as leverage not only to get them to listen but also to show them how selfless Caesar was, for within the will it states Caesar gives to the people his land and wealth. Certainly proving Caesar was not as the conspirators had believed, and only held Rome’s best interests in his heart. Antony’s speech was so moving the people of Rome even started to mob and killed a man simply because he shared a name with one of the conspirators.

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Brutus however did not really accomplish what he intended by his speech. His speech was okay and would have worked adequately had Antony not given his. However, compared to Antony’s speech Brutus’ was quite lacking. Where Antony would use terms like “you” and “we” to more personalize his speech and make it feel more about the people of Rome and create a general feeling of togetherness, Brutus used mostly “I” and “me” phrases such as “believe me for my honor” and “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” He did not consider his audience or their emotions, as well as Antony, did. Even though they both spoke at the funeral Antony’s speech was far more moving than Brutus.‘ Being good at speeches and appealing to your audience is a good skill to have. You can move masses with just a few words if you know what you’re doing.

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The Power of Brutus' Speech in the Play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. (2022, Nov 15). Retrieved from

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