Rhetoric In Mark Anthony's Funeral Speech

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"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears."(Act3,Scene2,line 82) This famous line begins Anthony's funeral speech for Caesar. This well-written speech is a prime example of rhetoric. However, what made it so gripping to the common man? And would it still work today? Let's start with what makes the speech so famous, rhetoric. Which is mainly seen in the words: ambitious and honorable. "But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man."( Book 3, Act 2, line 95-96) The word honorable is meant to mock Brutus. By using it in a sarcastic way, Mark Anthony questions whether Brutus is truly honorable."The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious."(Book 3, Act 2,line 86-87) With the word ambitious, Anthony shows the true nature of Caesar. As with the last word, it is used sarcasticly. By using it in this way, it displays how Caesar was not power hungry, he was instead a defender of the people. …show more content…
They know he was the right leader for them and cared for the people. So, Anthony's speech reminds them of a man who truly made a change. As a funeral speech should, it showed the high points of his life, making the people sentimental. The question still remains, would this speech work today. In my personal opinion, the speech is rather timeless. While the exact words may not apply, the form of this speech works quite well suited for such an occasion. It appeals to most who hear it. As it reminds them of the good aspects of the person they have lost. This speech has all the right to be as well known as it is. Though it is famous because of its author, it is amazing in its own right. The use of sarcasm is excellent and his words not only improve the publics' view of Caesar but also of Anthony. In conclusion, this intelligently crafted speech is a testament to Shakespere's writing

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