The Words of Friendship VS. Patriotism One of Shakespeare’s plays that can be considered more notable than others is No Fear Julius Caesar. Through the actions of many characters, many different mini-climaxes begin to develop. Each of these climaxes lead to a major conflict between two characters; Brutus and Antony. The introduction to this conflict is at the funeral of a man who was once a friend of both Brutus and Antony, until Brutus and other conspirators murdered him for the good of Rome. After Brutus speaks about the death, Antony approaches his opportunity to persuade the Roman people.
Antony is trying to make the crowd believe Brutus and the other men are murderers, while Brutus is trying to prove their innocence. Antony captures the attention of the common citizens, appeals to what they want, and wins their support by using more effective methods than Brutus, who just stated the facts and depends on his credibility in Rome. Shakespeare show that Antony wins the crowd through the use of Pathos, the use of Logos and Ethos, and by the crowd’s final actions and emotions at the end of the scene.
Pathos is the first method of seduction Antony uses to appeal to the crowd of Roman’s. His opening line shows that he is automatically trying to appeal to what the people know and want to hear. Antony says, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” (III, ii, 72). The people of Rome are already emotional charges, but indecisive about who is the villain in this situation. Brutus does not know at this time that he is competing for his survival in Rome; however, Antony knows that in order to get revenge he needs to get the people on his side.
Robert F. Willson Jr. points out something that every good performer or speaker knows when he says, “A key to successful performing (as the playwright knew) is gauging the reaction of one’s audience, something Brutus lacks the insight to do” (The Forum Scene as Historic Playwithin, Robert F. Willson Jr. ). Antony make small steps towards touching a soft spot in everyone’s heart, but his final statement not only wraps up whole speech, but also strikes the crowd in a way that motivates them to join Antony’s side.
Antony says, “Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me” (III, ii, 104-105). The crowd sees Antony’s grief and begin to rationalize with him. The other two methods of entrapment Antony uses is Aristotle’s Appeals of both Ethos and Logos. Ethos is the appeal to which the speaker is using one’s’ credibility. Antony calls Brutus an ‘Honorable man’ several times throughout his speech, at one point in time Brutus had been considered an honorable man by most men in Rome.
However, Antony does not believe Brutus is honorable and is trying to tarnish Brutus’ credibility in order to gain more support. On the contrary, Antony speaks of Caesar’s positively in order to show his loyalty to the man who was once his best friend. Antony tells the crowd that he is not there to praise him; however, he does praise him in a secretive way. Antony pleads with the crowd to see that Caesar was a good man who did no harm by saying, “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff” (III, ii, 89-91).
Antony goes on to give other examples of when Caesar was the exact opposite of power thirsty, however he lacks to state the whole truth about Caesar’s ambitions. Brutus on the other hand points out the love he had for Caesar, but tells everyone that his first love Rome. Antony is a smart man who knows when using logics and telling the truth is useful. He understands that the Romans can be bought out, he knows that if he mentions Caesar’s will that he will have the people hooked.
This is when Antony begins to speak about the will and what it contains that oncerns the people and Caesar’s love for them. Antony says this about the will, “But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar. I found it in his closet. ‘Tis his will. Let but the commons hear this testament—Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read —And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds. And dip their napkins in his sacred” (III, ii, 127-132). At this point in time, Antony has lost all fear of losing against Brutus. He is treating the people of Rome as if they were dogs, dangling Caesar’s will as if it is a dog treat that the dog must beg to receive and taste.
He is putting his personal wants above the good of Rome, which is the antithesis of how Brutus is constantly seen acting. At the end of both speeches, we see two completely different sets of emotions pouring from the crowd. The first man to speak at Caesar’s funeral is Brutus who has the crowd convinced that what he did was for the good of Rome. Brutus offers to give his own life if that is what the people of Rome find just and shortly after individuals began yelling out to support Brutus and his actions. One person says, “Give him a statue with his ancestors! (III, ii, 46).
This shows that the amount of love for Brutus before Antony’s speech is enormous. However, as soon as Antony begins to speak the crowd seems to have a change in heart. Antony uses emotions, props, reason, and other manipulative ways completely turns the crowd. After proving that Caesar was not ambitious or dangerous, he goes on to providing Caesar’s will to the people, and constantly shows his inner emotions to the crowd. We see the how the people feel about Brutus at the end of Antony’s speech when all of the people says, “Revenge!
About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live! ” (III, ii, 197-198). This comment shows that not only do they agree with Antony, but also they are ready to take actions out of anger and haste. The people in the crowd listening to the speeches in this tragedy have emotions that seem to be on a roller coaster, one minute they are calm and rationalizing, the next they are bloodthirsty and greedy. The two men who speak at the funeral of Julius Caesar are opposite, but also similar in a few ways.
They are both men speaking at a friend’s funeral in Rome, the both express their love for Caesar, and they both show what respect they have for the people of Rome. However, Antony is out for revenge and Brutus is just trying to do the right thing, Antony wants to start a war and Brutus wants peace in Rome, and Antony wants what is best for himself and Brutus only wants what is best for Rome. The proof that Antony is able to win over the mob of Romans is seen through the use of Pathos, Ethos and Logos, and the crowd final actions and emotions.