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Home » , » Bring out the contrast between the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony
There is a sharp contrast between the funeral speeches of Brutus and Antony in Julius Caesar. Antony's funeral oration differs from Brutus's in many ways. Brutus's speech to the crowd of people is the speech of a philosopher while Antony's speech is emotional and is intended to stir the feelings and passions of the listeners. Brutus's speech is cold, logical, and intellectual; while Antony's speech is charged with feeling, and it is meant to excite the emotions of the listeners. Brutus's speech appeals to the intelligence of the listeners, and it fails because the listeners in this case are not intelligent enough.

Brutus's speech is really an excellent specimen of reasoning. The logic behind the arguments in this speech is perfectly clear. But logic is something with common people do not understand. This does not mean that Brutus is speaking to utterly ignorant people. The point is that the people understand Brutus's reasoning only to a limited extent. As for the logic in his speech, here is an example: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". This sentence is simple enough and yet not so simple. There is certainly an element of complexity in this sentence. Brutus tries to appeal to people's love of freedom. He tries to stir their hatred of tyranny. But they do not realize that the people are not very enlightened and that they do not really understand this talk about freedom and slavery. In the starting scene, this mob has already been depicted as admirers of Caesar, the conqueror. A love of freedom is far from their thoughts. And yet they accept Brutus's reasoning. But the crowd's ignorance comes out in their declaration that Brutus should be given the title of Caesar. The crowd does not understand the principles for the sake of which Brutus murdered a dear friend. 

On the other hand, Antony knows the psychology of the mob. He appeals directly to this psychology. He does not talk about the principle of freedom. He does not talk of the evil tyranny and slavery. He speaks about the wounds which had been inflicted upon Caesar's body. He speaks about the ingratitude of Brutus who was loved as a dear friend by Caesar. He speaks about Caesar's will by the terms by which Caesar had left much of his property to the people in general. Antony makes use of several rhetorical devices in the course of his speech. He makes use of irony when he says again and again that Brutus is an honorable man.

However, we find another important difference in this respect. Brutus speaks to the mob in prose, while Antony speaks in verse. Poetry is always more effective than prose. It is also always more emotional than prose. Antony's speech makes use not only of rhetorical devices but also of poetic devices. Antony's speech is an excellent combination of art, cunning, and sincerity. Besides, Brutus speaks about abstract notions while Antony speaks in concrete terms. Brutus speaks of freedom and slavery, while Antony speaks of his listener's feelings and passions.


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