Rhetorical Appeals In Julius Caesar

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Antony’s funeral oration is one of the most important speeches in Julius Caesar. Antony is the most skillful speaker because of his ability to turn a mass of uneducated plebeians once faithful towards the conspirators completely against them with emotional appeals. In Antony’s speech, one of his uses of emotional appeals is to create a kind and friendly relationship with plebeians. At the beginning of his discourse, he uses a synecdoche and asyndeton with his appeal. His first sentence was this: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” (3.2.82). Here, Antony is appealing to the plebeians’ feeling of friendship. His asyndeton involving the words “friends,” “Romans,” and “countrymen” imply that in Antony’s point of view, the plebeians are …show more content…

Near the beginning of his candid speech, he uses several rhetorical devices to sadden the crowd. Antony talks about his friendship with Caesar: O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason! — Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me. (weeps) (3.2.116-117) In this moment, Antony is appealing to the plebeians’ sense of compassion. He is showing his intimacy and love for Caesar while discrediting the conspirators at the same time. He uses a pun on the word “brutish” and the name “Brutus,” creating the implication that the conspirators are uncivilized animals pretending to be honest. Antony also uses a hyperbole with his heart and the coffin of Caesar to emphasize his immense sorrow and longing for his friend. These devices strike sympathy in the plebeians for Caesar, but also a strong displeasure towards Brutus. By talking about his friend’s death in a tragic way, Antony not only persuades the plebeians to side with him instead of Brutus, but he also causes the plebeians to come together in a massive horde and become a violent riot through

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