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Crank Phoenix II Pre-AP/IB/GT 2 24 February 2013 The killing of Julius Caesar was not so much an act of simple brutality as it was a significant turning point in history.
It is an act of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech and writing.
It is delivered to a crowd with the specific purpose of turning them to Antony's point of view.
Try it risk-free Marc Antony's funeral speech for the slain Caesar in Shakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' is one of the most celebrated rhetorical acts in dramatic literature.
Antony cleverly uses repetition to turn the crowd against the assassins without ever directly slighting them.He argues that Caesar's ambition to become emperor made it necessary to kill him.Poor Brutus must go toe-to-toe with Marc Antony, Caesar's second-in-command, who then takes the stage and gives one of the most celebrated speeches in literary history.Overcome with emotion for his dead friend, he starts remembering Caesar's kindness: ''He was my friend, faithful and just to me'' (94) He then seems to remember the point of his speech: ''But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man'' (95-6).Antony continually thinks back on the great things Caesar did for the good of the Roman people, often foregoing personal gain in the process.One of the reasons the speech is so rhetorically effective is Antony's clever use of repetition, repeating the phrase ''Brutus is an honorable man'' in order to imply the exact opposite meaning.Antony opens the speech by saying ''I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him'' (83).In this seemingly inconsequential moment of praise, Antony slips in a phrase that will be the key to the rest of his speech.Antony then seems to get sidetracked from his plan to bury Caesar and not praise him.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.