Mark Antony Essay

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Mark Antony’s situated precariously giving funeral speech in Act III, where he’s unable to publicly announce his bitter contempt (revealed to the play’s audience in the previous scene). Mark Antony adopts a subtle approach using subterfuge expertly tailored to the plebeians. The critical characteristic of the audience, around which Antony formulates his speech, is the fact they view Brutus with great respect and feel indebted to him for freeing them of an allegedly tyrannical king. Antony achieves his goal of “fierce civil strife” through integration of subtle techniques and indirect methods of communication persuading the plebeians to draw conclusions synonymous with his own.
Antony’s oration begins with an argumentum ad populum; establishing
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His exordium initiates with “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”. This appeal to Aristotle’s principles of ethos, credibility, unifies Antony with the audience and softens their barriers of seemingly concrete beliefs. Too forceful or aggressive the audience would turn on Antony, as shown by 4 Plebeian’s words: “’Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here”. Hence, Antony’s opener serves as one of the many reminders Antony reiterates to convince the audience he has no political purpose. As Antony continues to develop his argument through anecdotes that strongly appeal to Logos such as: “You all did see that on the Lupercal/ I thrice presented him a kingly crown,/Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” to disprove the crux of Brutus’ speech: that Caesar was ambitious and must’ve been slain. Antony creates discord by offering the diametric perspective of “Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,/And sure he is an honourable man/” which creates a subtle dichotomy (Either Caesar was wrong; or Brutus was wrong). However, Antony’s success in his oration lies in the fact that he humbly presents his oration, and continually hides the fact that his speech isn’t objectively spoken, with quotes such as: “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,/But here I am to speak what I do know.”. To end his narratio Antony descends from the pulpit

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