In Act 3 Scene 2, two very dramatic speeches are made by Brutus and Antony. In this scene, Brutus makes a speech trying to reason with the citizens and also to convince them that Caesar was a tyrant. In Antony's speech, he tries to reverse Brutus' persuasive speech by undermining him and reasons for his actions. Antony does this by cunningly leading the Romans to rage and mutiny. This scene is the most significant in the play because it is very dramatic for both Brutus and Antony. Brutus divides his speech into a series of rules and conventions of Rhetoric.
He divides them into 5 steps. The Beginning the purpose of which is to prepare the audience with interest. This is then followed by the Exposition in which informs the audience on topics, deeds and events. The Explanation comes next and tells the audience about the purpose of the case and the Argument is to support the speaker's case. The Final Flourish is the conclusion. I think that this is a good way to make a speech because it is very well structured and easy to understand and follow because the citizens were mainly uneducated.
However, it is also a disadvantage because it appears to be less spontaneous and interesting because the speech spoken was used commonly by Roman orators. Brutus and Antony speak very differently. Brutus speaks in prose whereas Antony speaks in blank verse. Blank Verse is usually associated with higher classes. This shows that Antony's speech was more cunning and challenging where Brutus' speech was presented more humbly and organized.
Brutus speech involves different techniques of persuasion. He uses a lot of rhetorical questions. Had you rather Caesar living and die all slaves, than Caesar dead to live all free men? " This makes the audience think more of what they want and this shows that Brutus appreciates their feelings. The way he phrases the question also makes it very hard for the crowd to argue; no one would want to say they'd rather be a slave. Brutus also uses repetition. "If any speak for whom I have offended? " This is repeated a few times because it gives the Romans a chance to state their views and to judge Brutus' actions.
Brutus also starts off his speech with a formal introduction "Be patient til the last. Romans, countrymen and lovers hear me for cause and be silent that you may hear" This seems like he is trying to gain their admiration and respect and their trust to listen to him speak. Brutus also praises Caesar's good points to emphasise that it was because of his ambition he killed him, not because of hatred. In Stuart Burge's production of the play, the actor's dramatic portrayal enhances the speech's persuasion.
Brutus' pitch and tone of voice and body language, varies from time to time. He shouts to show anger "death for his ambition" and sometimes sadness "as Caesar loved me, I weep for him". His body language shows respects towards Caesar because he raises his hand to his heart as he says "I loved Caesar" This shows that he really means what he has said and that he is genuine. His voice also becomes soft and slow when he says "I slew my best lover for the good of Rome". Brutus raises his chin and his voice becomes slow at this point.
This could show that Brutus is proud to be Roman but also sad to have killed his best friend for his country. Brutus also has blood on his hands. He often shows them to the crowd when he raises his hands. This could mean that he is open about his killing and that Caesar's death was a sacrifice for both Brutus and Rome. The responses made by the citizens are important in this scene because it shows us whether Brutus' speech was successful or not. The citizens' reactions are very fickle. Their opinions changes when something new happens. The citizens say "Let him be Caesar".
This could mean that they see Brutus as the next emperor of Rome, if so, they have misunderstood Brutus' speech as he said that he thought no one should have that sort of power. They also say "Live, Brutus live, live! " This could show that they want Brutus to live and that they wanted Caesar dead. I think that this speech worked well because the responses from the citizens seemed like he managed to persuade them because they are vulnerable. Antony makes his speech straight after Brutus.
The citizens have already made up their mind of what they think of Caesar. Caesar was a tyrant" shows us this. The significant factor of Antony's speech is that he speaks in blank verse which is commonly used with the higher status. Antony starts off by saying "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" This seems quite ironic because Brutus starts off his speech very similarly. During this speech Antony uses persuasive tactics to win the citizens over and also to undermine Brutus. Some of the persuasion techniques Antony uses are repetition, lies, rhetorical questions and teasing.
Antony uses repetition by repeating "Brutus is an honourable man" quite a lot to undermine him. The repetition makes it ironic. Antony also tells lies. "I come to bury Caesar's body, not to praise him" "I speak not to disapprove what Brutus has said" He does this to win the crowd over and to appear to be well meaning and also to win trust and to hide his true motives. Rhetorical questions are used a few times as well. He says "Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? " and "Was this ambitious? " This is to disapprove what Brutus had said and to prove that Caesar wasn't ambitious.
A technique that has been used throughout the speech was to tease the citizens with the will. He hints that they have been left great things and to anticipate their gratitude to Caesar. "Tis good you know now that you are his heirs... " This makes the citizens think that Caesar has been amazingly generous (and not ambitious) to make them demand to hear the will. Finally, Antony reads the will to the citizens "He hath left you all his walks, his private arbours and new planted orchards... " This is to avenge Caesar who has been generous, to inflame them and to make them mad.
In Stuart Burges' production, Antony's dramatic portrayal is very effective. On his opening line he grabs a citizen because he is determined to make them listen when he says "Friends, Romans, countrymen". Like Brutus, Antony raises his hands a lot to show domination. He speaks in a very loud tone to make the crowd feel ashamed of what they have done. He also gives a pause "And I must pause till it come back to me" This gives the crowd a chance to take in what he has said as well as dramatising Antony's show of grief.
When Antony says the lines "O masters, if I were dispos'd to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage... Bequeathing is a rich legacy unto their issue" he ascends the steps. This shows that he is dominating the space and creating his presence to show that he is in control. However, his loud shouting turns into words of sadness and sympathy as he speaks of Caesar's funeral. His tone lowers to a sympathetic quiet tone. Nearer the end of the speech, Antony also stabs a pillar with the will to re- enact the murder on the word "stabbed".
He also rips the cloth off Caesar's body to show the crowd. I think that Antony's speech is successful and dramatic because in the film production, some of the citizens begin to cry. The responses made by the citizens also reveal the success. One citizen says "Methinks there is much reason in his sayings" This shows that the citizens are beginning to realize that what Antony is saying is true. They also begin to think that Antony is great and better than Brutus "There is not a nobler man in Rome than Antony".
Towards the end of the scene, the citizens become enraged towards Brutus. Burn down the house of Brutus". This has shown that Antony's aims of leading the Romans to rage and mutiny has worked effectively. The Dramatic Importance of Act 3 Scene 2 Apart from Caesar's death, this scene is the second climax of the play. Its dramatic content prevents the play from losing momentum after Caesar's death. The precise reason why this scene is dramatically important is because it secures the death of "the noblest Roman"- Brutus. The reason why Brutus' death was tragic is because he was noble and honourable despite his decision to kill his friend Caesar.
Evidence of this is shown in his soliloquy of Act 2 Scene 1 where he says that he shows no personal quarrel with Caesar. "I know no personal cause to spurn at him but for the general" Brutus also fears that being King would change Caesar. "He would be crown'd how that might change his nature, there's the question" This shows how Brutus acted out of the best intentions. Further evidence of this is that "Brutus is not barbaric; he only wants to purge Rome of tyranny. "Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar" Brutus also thinks that Antony is harmless even though this later becomes Brutus' fatal error of judgement. "And for Mark Antony, think not of him for he can do no more than Caesar's arm when Caesar's head is off". Brutus' poor judgement of character has lead to tragedy. He misjudged Antony twice. Firstly Brutus let Antony live after the killing of Caesar. After the death of Caesar, Antony became powerful and became a member of the 2nd Triumvirate with Octavius and Lepidus. Antony becomes deceitful and cunning by back stabbing Lepidus.
The 2nd misjudgement was when Brutus let Antony speak at Caesar's funeral. it led to the impact of Brutus' tragic fault in Act 3 Scene 2. After this, Brutus' death was inevitable. This makes Antony's triumph over the conspirators, the most gripping climax of the play. I think that overall, Antony was the better person of the two. His speech was more persuasive because it led the Romans to rage and mutiny against Brutus. I think that Brutus behaved very unwisely because he made 2 very bad decisions which later led to his death.