Rhetorical Devices In Julius Caesar's Speech

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I selected Mark Antony’s speech from Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar is a play that hinges upon rhetoric. Mark Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral demonstrates Shakespeare’s finest examples of rhetoric at work. At Caesars funeral, Brutus gives a reasoned prose speech that convinces the crowd Caesar had to die. Mark Antony, a friend of Caesar is allowed to speak whatever good he wishes of Caesar so long as he speaks no ill of the conspirators. Mark Antony overmatches Brutus. His oration is powerful, persuasive and has a strong emotional appeal. He carefully constructs his rhetoric that contradicts Brutus’s arguments that Caesar was ambitious and the assassination of Caesar was noble. He successfully turns the emotions of the crowd. His speech is…show more content…
To start, facial expression is a key component in delivering effective orations, which Lewis has mastered beautifully. As his performance is a solo act, his facial expressions are even more emphasized. His changes in facial expressions enhance the emotional effect of the speech. At the beginning, his face is serious resulting in a solemn and morose tone. Then, Lewis becomes extremely sarcastic, when he reaches the main portion of his speech and starts to indirectly criticize Brutus’ actions. For example, he raises his eyebrows and shakes his head, which reinforce the message delivered. Furthermore, Lewis also consistently emphasizes and pauses between the words “Brutus” and “honourable.” Antony uses “Tautology” as he sends the same idea using different words in his entire speech. He repeatedly calls Brutus “honourable” and “noble”, which, or course, he doesn’t mean at all. The intended meaning is, in fact, the opposite, which the audiences understand. Lewis’s pause emphasizes the irony in Antony’s speech and maintains Antony’s conspicuous ambiguity. Through the subtle delivery, powerful expressions, and well-timed intonation, Antony’s message is effectively delivered and his character revealed. It shows that Antony is a loyal, consummate, and persuasive person who is a master at delivering his thoughts. Thus, Damian Lewis has done an exceptional job in delivering the oration and illustrating the
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