Ethos, logos, and pathos are three persuasion tools used by Shakespeare in Mark Antony’s funeral oration over Caesar’s body. Ethos is appeal based on the personality or the character of the speaker, Logos is based on logic and or reasoning. Finally, Pathos is an appeal based on emotion. Antony uses these elements to turn the Roman crowd against the conspirator with a highly convincing speech.
Antony shows his credibility in a different way than Brutus does. Brutus shows his credibility through his tone of voice and his word choice. But Antony shows his credibility through the technique of blank verse. Blank verse was the way that people with authority spoke. Antony shows the audience that he was authority by using this technique. The most convincing use of ethos is when Mark Antony says “ Friends, Romans, and countrymen…” By starting his speech this way he shows that he is the same as everyone else he is “one of them” or one of the common people. He is also showing them that he is loyal and trustworthy.
In Brutus’s speech, he mentions that Caesar was killed due to his ambitious traits with no detail to support it. Antony, on the other hand, gives several logical arguments that prove that Caesar was not ambitious. Antony shows that Caesar was a war hero who brought back captives for ransom that benefitted Rome and not hurt Rome. “He hath brought many captives home to Rome” (Julius Ceasar Shakespeare 3:2). Antony shows that Caesar cried for the poor. “When the poor cried, Caesar cried too.
Ambition shouldn’t be so soft.” (Julius Ceasar Shakespeare 3:2). Antony shows that Caesar refused the crown 3 times. You all did see that on the Lupercal thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” (Julius Caesar Shakespear 3:2). Antony also proves that Caesar wrote a will that left money and land to the common people of Rome. “Than I will wrong such honorable men. But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar.” (Julius Caesar Shakespeare 3:2). All of these actions Antony proved that Caesar was no ambitious and that the conspirators were not noble in killing Caesar.
Antony unlike Brutus shows and spreads his emotions throughout the crowd. Antony says “Caesar was my friend, faithful and just to me.” This makes the audience feel sympathy for Antony. Antony starts to read Caesar’s will to the people and the will states that Caesar had given money and land to the people of Rome. By reading the will Antony makes the audience feel guilty. Another time that Antony conveys emotion to the crowd was when he shows the people Caesar’s wounds and the stab marks. Antony says “ this wound was made by Casca, this one by Brutus…” He makes the audience feel pity for Ceasar and anger towards the conspirators.
Mark Antony uses the persuasive techniques of ethos, logos, and pathos to convince the Roman citizens to turn against the conspirators. Mark Antony proves with facts, emotion, and credibility that Brutus was wrong about what he was saying about Caesar. In the end, Mark Antony was successfully able to get the Roman citizens on his side.
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