Desmond Tutu once said, “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument”. Many powerful men have greatly impacted or influenced others by the use of their words. In the play, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare perfectly demonstrates how the usage of the right words can cause almost anyone to do anything. Julius Caesar was an extremely gallant leader who was murdered by one of his closest friends due to Cassius’, one of many conspirators,  persuasive words. After Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators successfully assassinated Caesar, Antony wanted to speak to the plebians on behalf of his late close friend. Before antony could speak to the commoners, Brutus had to give his speech where he used many persuasive techniques in order to assure that everyone would believe the murder was for the good of Rome. Antony used many similar persuasive techniques to steal the trust that Brutus had established with the plebians. While Brutus and Antony’s speeches had many similarities, Antony’s use of pronouns, and exaggeration makes his speech more effective. Brutus and Antony used certain persuasive techniques in very similar ways in order to persuade the commoners’ judgement. Both men used assertion as a form of a persuasive technique in each of their speeches to get the citizens to believe them. Assertion is when an idea is presented as fact without full explanation or evidence. During Antony’s speech, he said, “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–” (JC 3.2.57-60). Antony never found Caesar’s will. He was using assertion to make Caesar sound more like he was a good man who did not deserve to die. He could not read the will because there was never one to begin with; which means he was presenting the will as a fact without any proof or evidence. This makes Antony’s speech similar to Brutus’ because Brutus presented a big idea without any sort of evidence. Brutus said, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved/ Rome more” (JC 3.2.11-12). Brutus kept telling the commoners that killing Caesar was justifiable because he and the conspirators did it for the greater good and ultimate safety of Rome. As much as Brutus kept saying that, he was never able to prove it because there was no evidence to back up the claim. Both uses of assertion from Brutus and Antony aided them in persuading the commoners in two different directions.These two very influential men had another similarity in their speeches. Brutus and Antony both used rhetorical questions in order to persuade the commoners. Rhetorical questions are statements which are voiced as questions but are not expected to be answered. Brutus said, “Who is here so base that would be a/ boldman? If any, speak; for him have I offended./ Who us here so rude that would not be Roman?” (JC 3.2.20-22). Brutus was challenging the Romans in the form of a question. He did not expect anyone to answer his question because he was just using it as a way to see who was a true patriot. The rhetorical questions are also a way to guilt the commoners for feeling as though the murder was unjust; causing all of the citizens not to speak out. Antony also used rhetorical questions as a form of persuasion. Antony said’ “You all did see that on the Lupercal/ I thrice presented him a kingly crown,/ Which he did thrice refuse:  was this ambition?” (JC 3.2.23-25). Antony did not really expect people to respond to the question. He was just putting it out there so people could begin to realize that Caesar was a good leader who did not deserve death. The use of rhetorical questions further assisted both Brutus and Antony in their attempt to persuade the citizens.Although Antony and Brutus did many things that were similar, they also used many different techniques in their speeches. For example, Brutus used generalization in his speech but Antony took a different approach to persuading the commoners. Generalization is the inference that a claim is true for a majority of people and is used to speak to prevailing beliefs of an audience. During Brutus’ speech, he said, “I have done no more to/ Caesar than you shall do to Brutus” (JC.3.2.27-28). Brutus made a generalization by saying that all of the citizens will kill him just how he killed Caesar because generalizing made the situation seem more relatable. Since the situation seemed more relatable, the commoners would feel as though the murder was the right thing to do. Antony used a different approach in his speech. He used a lot more loaded words and repetition which would really make the audience feel some sort of emotion. Loaded words are words charged with an underlying meaning and are used to produce emotions while repetition is the recurrence of certain words or phrases.  In lines 6 to 22, Antony repeated the words “honorable” and ” ambitious”. In the context that these words were used in, they produced the feeling of doubt in the conspirators because Antony did not truly believe that the conspirators were honorable. Since Antony kept repeating and restating the words over and over again, the commoners were feeling strong feelings of doubt because they Antony was calling these men who just murdered one of his closest friends honorable but he did not seem to be completely sincere. The techniques used were quite  different but they  were both effective in their own way.Many people debate on who had the better speech but it is clear that Antony’s skills with the persuasive techniques were more effective than Brutus’.  There are many reasons why Antony’s speech was better; his use of pronouns is just one of them. Pronouns take the place of nouns and can be used to create a sense of unity or distance from a common enemy. In this case, Antony used pronouns to create separation. During his influential speech, Antony said, “I will not do them wrong; I rather choose/ To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,/ Than I will wrong such honorable men” (JC 3.2.54-56). The pronouns that Antony used created distance between him and the conspirators. It created and us versus them situation which brought Antony closer to the commoners while at the same time, creating distance from the conspirators. Another reason Antony’s speech was more effective is because he used a lot of exaggeration. Exaggeration is the representation of something greater that is actually the case. Antony explained, “My heart is in the coffin with Caesar” (JC 3.2.34). Of course Antony was upset about his close friend being murdered, he was also just using this exaggeration as a way to get sympathy from the commoners. If the commoners saw how upset Antony was about Caesar’s death, Antony would be able to persuade them a bit more because emotions are used to engage the audience and create an emotional response. Antony’s speech was better because he used more effective techniques that really caused the citizens to feel some type of emotion.While Antony’s speech was more strategic and used better persuasive techniques, some would argue that Brutus’s speech was more effective. The opposing side argues that Brutus’ use of generalization will make the commoners feel as though they can relate to what Brutus did but in reality it might offend them. The commoners could become upset because they might not want to be told that they would do the something as heinous as murder. Being put in a category that make the commoners capable of murder could actually upset and disgust them enough to make them switch sides; completely defeating the purpose of the speech. It is important to consider how people will feel about being generalized with certain groups of people. That exactly what Antony’s speech did. Every technique Antony used was used in a way that made it impossible to turn anyone against him which is why his speech was much more effective.Despite the fact that both Antony and Brutus had many similarities and differences among their speeches, Antony’s speech was better for the purpose it was intended for. Caesar’s death was unjust and the conspirators deserved to be punished for their actions. Obviously their view of the murder were drastically different, Antony’s use of exaggeration and pronouns ultimately made his speech better. Both men were clearly masters when it came to manipulating people with their words. These two speeches changed the path that Rome was on permanently. This goes to show that simple techniques, like the ones used by Antony and Brutus, can really influence people for better or for worse.

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