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Rhetorical Analysis of Mark Antony's Speech

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction to Rhetorical Strategies
  2. Comparison of Antony’s and Clinton’s Emotional Appeal
  3. Use of Rhetorical Devices: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
  4. Verbal Irony and Persuasion in Speeches
  5. Parallelism and Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s and King’s Speeches
  6. Conclusion: The Power of Rhetorical Strategies in Speeches

Introduction to Rhetorical Strategies

In Mark Antony’s speech, he first starts by stating ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;”, he does this with the purpose of mirroring the more emotional tact the will take all through the remainder of his speech.In comparison to “Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session” - Hillary R. Clinton, Hillary also tries to emotionally connect with the audience towards the beginning of her speech by stating “We come together in fields and factories... our children in the park.... we come together and talk about our aspirations and concern.”; by using pronouns such as we or our she tries to relate to the women in the audience, also creating a poignant effect like Antony. In Antony’s speech he uses rhetorical questions “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?”, by saying this, Antony attests that Caesar was not ambitious —and consequently infers that Brutus was either misinformed or lying—while at the same time driving the citizens to finish up his assertion seemingly on their own. Hillary also uses a rhetorical question during her speech “Wasn’t it after all -- after the women’s conference in Nairobi ten years ago that the world focused for the first time on the crisis of domestic violence?”, she used this rhetorical question to get her point across the audience especially those who don’t necessarily agree with her about the necessity of equal women’s rights.

Comparison of Antony’s and Clinton’s Emotional Appeal

Additionally, another way these speeches relate is because of the fact that both speeches use rhetorical devices such as Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. An example where it could be seen is the use on one rhetorical device in Mark Antony’s speech, in this case, Logos, is “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse:”; This reality fundamentally contradicts what Brutus had said ealier, He does this to remove Brutus' validity. An example in Hillary’s speech where it could be interpreted as a rhetorical device, also Logos, is when she states the following: “ Over the past 25 years, I have worked persistently on issues relating to women, children and families.” she states this because it builds credit and validity by having experience and have been a witness to ladies' work. Something both dialogs differ in is that Mark Antony’s discussion includes verbal irony while Hillary’s doesn't.Mark Antony shows verbal irony when he states ''Brutus was an honorable man?'' This is a verbal irony since he makes it seem as if Brutus and all the other conspirators are 'traitors”, he does this to subtly put the citizens against Brutus. Lastly, one more way where the two speeches are similar is because they both use their speeches to persuade people; Hillary wants to lead people to believe in the importance of women’s rights while Antony wants to cause his audience to trust in him but distrust Brutus and all the other conspirators.

Another comparison that is going to be made in this following paragraph is between Mark Antony’s funeral speech and “I Have A Dream” by Martin Lurther King Jr . In both speeches there can be observed examples of parallel structure (parallelism). In Mark Antony’s talk a sentence that could be interpreted as parallelism is “When the poor hath cried, Caesar hath wept,' (Shakespeare, 3.2). This sentence displays parallelism to establish the close connection between the emotions of Caesar and the poor.In Martin Lurther King’s Jr speech there is also an example of parallelism throught his text, which is “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.” He uses parallelism to make the lines memorable and maybe speaks to the equality of the citizens battling together.

This also creates discussion in the crowd. On top off that, another example of the usage of rhetorical devices shown in Martin Luther King’s is “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men, and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing.”, this is hyperbole. He uses this metaphor to give a false representation of reality; he accepts that genuine equity will possibly come when each individual has confidence in opportunity for all. For instance, throughout Mark Antony’s speech hyperbole can be detected in the following lines “And they would go kiss dead Caesar's wounds, And dip their napkins in his sacred blood.'.To explain, he uses this hyperbole to exaggerate the amount of love they hold for Caesar and to possibly influence citizens to believe that they actually have any type of love for Caesar whatsoever. Furthermore, another rhetorical device found in both speeches is Pathos.

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Use of Rhetorical Devices: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

As proof of Pathos, the following sentences state “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.' , '...one day right here in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.'. Both of the examples presented above were used to persuade by assembling an association with his black and white spectators; this is shown through his references to kids of the white and black race and inferences to times of servitude which spoke to both parents and elder ages. Rhetorical Analysis In Mark Antony’s speech, he first starts by stating ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;”, he does this with the purpose of mirroring the more emotional tact the will take all through the remainder of his speech.In comparison to “Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session” - Hillary R. Clinton, Hillary also tries to emotionally connect with the audience towards the beginning of her speech by stating “We come together in fields and factories... our children in the park.... we come together and talk about our aspirations and concern.”; by using pronouns such as we or our she tries to relate to the women in the audience, also creating a poignant effect like Antony.

Verbal Irony and Persuasion in Speeches

In Antony’s speech he uses rhetorical questions “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?”, by saying this, Antony attests that Caesar was not ambitious —and consequently infers that Brutus was either misinformed or lying—while at the same time driving the citizens to finish up his assertion seemingly on their own. Hillary also uses a rhetorical question during her speech “Wasn’t it after all -- after the women’s conference in Nairobi ten years ago that the world focused for the first time on the crisis of domestic violence?”, she used this rhetorical question to get her point across the audience especially those who don’t necessarily agree with her about the necessity of equal women’s rights. Additionally, another way these speeches relate is because of the fact that both speeches use rhetorical devices such as Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. An example where it could be seen is the use on one rhetorical device in Mark Antony’s speech, in this case, Logos, is “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse:”; This reality fundamentally contradicts what Brutus had said ealier, He does this to remove Brutus' validity. An example in Hillary’s speech where it could be interpreted as a rhetorical device, also Logos, is when she states the following: “ Over the past 25 years, I have worked persistently on issues relating to women, children and families.” she states this because it builds credit and validity by having experience and have been a witness to ladies' work. Something both dialogs differ in is that Mark Antony’s discussion includes verbal irony while Hillary’s doesn't.Mark Antony shows verbal irony when he states ''Brutus was an honorable man?''

Parallelism and Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s and King’s Speeches

This is a verbal irony since he makes it seem as if Brutus and all the other conspirators are 'traitors”, he does this to subtly put the citizens against Brutus. Lastly, one more way where the two speeches are similar is because they both use their speeches to persuade people; Hillary wants to lead people to believe in the importance of women’s rights while Antony wants to cause his audience to trust in him but distrust Brutus and all the other conspirators. Another comparison that is going to be made in this following paragraph is between Mark Antony’s funeral speech and “I Have A Dream” by Martin Lurther King Jr . In both speeches there can be observed examples of parallel structure (parallelism). In Mark Antony’s talk a sentence that could be interpreted as parallelism is “When the poor hath cried, Caesar hath wept,' (Shakespeare, 3.2). This sentence displays parallelism to establish the close connection between the emotions of Caesar and the poor.In Martin Lurther King’s Jr speech there is also an example of parallelism throughout his text, which is “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.” He uses parallelism to make the lines memorable and maybe speaks to the equality of the citizens battling together.

Conclusion: The Power of Rhetorical Strategies in Speeches

This also creates discussion in the crowd. On top off that, another example of the usage of rhetorical devices shown in Martin Luther King’s is “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men, and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing.”, this is hyperbole. He uses this metaphor to give a false representation of reality; he accepts that genuine equity will possibly come when each individual has confidence in opportunity for all. For instance, throughout Mark Antony’s speech hyperbole can be detected in the following lines “And they would go kiss dead Caesar's wounds, And dip their napkins in his sacred blood.'.To explain, he uses this hyperbole to exaggerate the amount of love they hold for Caesar and to possibly influence citizens to believe that they actually have any type of love for Caesar whatsoever. Furthermore, another rhetorical device found in both speeches is Pathos. As proof of Pathos, the following sentences state “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.' , '...one day right here in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.'. Both of the examples presented above were used to persuade by assembling an association with his black and white spectators; this is shown through his references to kids of the white and black race and inferences to times of servitude which spoke to both parents and elder ages.

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Rhetorical Analysis of Mark Antony’s Speech. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-mark-antonys-speech/
“Rhetorical Analysis of Mark Antony’s Speech.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-mark-antonys-speech/
Rhetorical Analysis of Mark Antony’s Speech. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-mark-antonys-speech/> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2023].
Rhetorical Analysis of Mark Antony’s Speech [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Dec 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-mark-antonys-speech/
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