Rhetoric In Julius Caesar

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“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful” is what Edward R. Murrow says about what persuasiveness is and how it is effective (“Persuasive” 1). Throughout the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, rhetoric is used not only to convince other friends to believe certain situations, but it is used against enemies as well. After Brutus and the other conspirators successfully execute their plan to murder Caesar, both Brutus and Marc Antony speak at the funeral in order to convince the audience to support their cause. While Brutus does make a compelling case about how he killed his best friend for the good of Rome, Antony ultimately wins the audience over through his use of sentimental appeals and repetition. In Antony’s speech, a sentimental appeal is used in order to persuade the Romans by manipulating their emotions to feel pity for Caesar. Brutus, before he stabbed Caesar, was one of the latter’s closest friends, and Antony does not hesitate to mention this in his speech. He explains the intimacy between Brutus and Caesar, and how much the victim loved the convict. In order to really rub it in how Brutus betrayed Caesar, Antony describes, “This was the most unkindest cut…show more content…
Though the rhetoric used by both Brutus and Marc Antony is highly refutable at times, it is safe to assume that Antony’s is the least refutable. Because he presents evidence that touches the audience in a more emotional way than Brutus does, Antony succeeds in persuading the audience to support his side of the argument. Not only that, but he even persuades them to take action after his speech is over. By appealing to his audience’s sense of pathos, Antony was effectual with regards to the purpose of his speech. Manipulating the use of multiple rhetorical strategies proved useful in surfacing feelings of sentiment and pity in the Romans, and, by doing this, Antony was able to salvage the reputation of his
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