Antony’s Speech and the Rhetoric Used

Vengeance is a powerful. Caesar’s slaying by Brutus sets Antony in motion to deceive his murderers into allowing him to speak to Rome. In his speech to the Romans, Antony turns Rome against Brutus using repetition to convey the irony in his own speech and discredit Brutus, as well as, applying meter to add emphasis to the mutiny, and contrast Brutus’s speech allowing him to connect with his countrymen. Repetition is used powerfully throughout Antony’s speech to convey a multitude of thoughts, however, the repetition particularly lends to the irony of the piece. …let me not stir you up / To such a sudden flood of mutiny. ” (188-189) is a prime example of the irony in his address. His intent from the beginning is to lead a revolt against Brutus and Caesar’s other murderers, the fact that he actually states he does not want to create a mutiny while stirring up these very same people to revolt is very ironic. Antony uses an ironic repetition to advance his efforts for a mutiny in the discrediting of Brutus. Before Antony takes the stage to talk to Rome, Brutus has just given a very lively speech and the Romans are partial to him.
It is then necessary for Antony to use dramatic irony to deceive his countrymen that he believes that “…Brutus is an honourable man;” (61). When Antony first describes Brutus as honourable the audience agrees it is only after the fourth time he says this that the whole crowd realize the irony behind what he is saying.. Antony uses this irony to discredit Brutus’s honour and sway the Romans to join in a mutiny against Brutus. The meter in Antony’s speech is also a very key part in adding emphasis to the mutiny he wishes to instill in the Romans.
Most lines have ten syllables however there are several lines with only nine syllables to add affect. Not only do these sentences have less syllables in common but also they end with ambition. For example “Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;” (72) the lost syllables place is taken by a pause that allows the Roman and the reader to reflect on the repeated word ambition. This pause allows the Antony to inflict the thought that it was not Caesar that was ambitious but Brutus instead. This meter allows Antony to incite the doubt of Brutus in the minds of Antony’s countrymen and incite them to revolt.

Interestingly enough the meter in Antony’s speech also serves as a contrast to Brutus’s who spoke in prose. Antony is a nobleman as is Brutus and throughout the whole play the only part where their dialogue is not written in meter of some sort is when Brutus addresses his countrymen. Antony however speaks as if he is addressing another noble conveying the message that he sees them as equals to him, and that while Brutus speaks down to their level, Antony lifts them up to his equal. This allows him to then sympathize with his countrymen and relate to them so that it is easier to coax them to mutiny.

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