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Rhetorical Devices in Antony's Speech

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It is unbelievable how much we are affected by others around us. Not just by their words, but by their actions. Some people can be so influential that they change someone's views on a topic in just a couple minutes. This is exactly what Mark Antony did to the people of Rome at Caesar's funeral. As a matter of fact, Antony uses three rhetorical devices in his speech with the hope of secretly persuading the plebeians to be on his side, and not on the side of Brutus. First off, he uses​ ​ethos​ ​to make himself seem like an honest and considerate person. Next, logos is used to prove Antony's ideas with evidence and reasoning. Finally, Antony utilizes pathos to make the commoners sympathize with him on the death of Caesar. Overall, these three devices are extremely important factors in Antony’s speech, and help to influence the Romans to agree with his beliefs and opinions.

One of the important factors of persuading is by using ethos to build up one’s image. When Antony begins his speech, he slowly starts to give hints that he is a considerate person. One example is when Antony repeatedly states that the conspirators are honorable men, even though he does not truly believe that they are. The reason Antony does this is to make himself look like the fair and thoughtful​ ​man. In a similar way, by using just his words, Antony characterizes himself as an honorable man. He tells the people of Rome that he does not want to start a revolt against the men that killed Caesar. By proclaiming this to the commoners, he is building his own civil stature by acting kind and considerate.​ ​Lastly, Antony depicts himself as equal with the common people. When Antony comes down from the stage after giving most of his speech, he is not only going to pay his respects to Caesar, but to also show the commoners that he is no more powerful than them. Even though Antony is a higher class then everyone whom he is speaking to, he comes down to make himself look equal and fair. All in all, Antony includes many qualities in his speech that persuade the plebeians to begin to follow him and his educated ideas.

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Similarly, logos play an essential part in persuading others by giving powerful, influential facts. First of all, Antony incorporates logos in order to put down Brutus’s idea that Caesar was a self-centered man. Anony brings up the point that Caesar refused the crown three times. He then argues that this action does not describe what a greedy man is like, so therefore Brutus is wrong. The commoners are then quickly persuaded by this powerful fact, and start to see how clever Antony is. Likewise, Antony utilizes a known fact among the people to elevate Caesar’s Character. He talks about how when people die the bad things eventually go away, but the good things that they did stick with them forever. Antony states that Caesar is just like this. By making this connection, the plebeians soon start to sympathise with Caesar and see the good actions that he did. Finally, Antony uses evidence to confront and embarrass the commoners. He asks the commoners why they do not mourn for someone whom they had loved before, and why Caesar has lost a place in their hearts. By saying this, Antony embarrases people, which causes their mood to drop, and makes them feel bad for Caesar and Antony. In conclusion, the Romans were quickly influenced by Antony because he used many different arguments that were easily understood and clear.

Furthermore, the usage of pathos in Antony's speech helps to connect the plebeians emotionally. Towards the beginning of the speech, Antony uses a depressing tone while speaking. He talks about what a good friend Caesar was, which was definitely said with emotion and regret. This sad emotion is passed to the listeners, which makes them feel bad for Antony and his loss. Then later on, Antony starts to expresses his own feelings and emotions. When he starts to talk about Caesar’s kindness, he can not control himself anymore, and starts to cry. By expressing his true feelings, Antony causes the people to sympathise with him for the loss of his close friend. Finally, he starts to introduce the usage of guilt to make the commoners feel bad. Antony tells the commoners how Caesar lies there dead and no one even considers to pay respects to the man that once ruled them. By saying this to the plebians, Antony makes them feel ashamed of themselves. All in all, using emotion helped antony gain many supporters who spread and followed his ideas.

Considering all of the rhetorical devices used in Antony's speech, one can conclude that he wanted to find a sneaky way to get back at the Conspirators without them knowing about it. First of all, Antony used ethos in his speech to make himself seem fair and just. In addition, he included many different logos that helped​ ​to​ ​build a strong, factual argument. Finally, Antony incorporates numerous pathos that touched the listeners at heart. Overall, Antony uses those three rhetorical devices to to leave a profound effect on the people, which helps him to gain power and win over Brutus in the end.

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Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s Speech. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-devices-of-mark-antonys-speech/
“Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s Speech.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-devices-of-mark-antonys-speech/
Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s Speech. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-devices-of-mark-antonys-speech/> [Accessed 3 Mar. 2024].
Rhetorical Devices in Antony’s Speech [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2024 Mar 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-devices-of-mark-antonys-speech/
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