Brutus’ language is very complex and a fair bit of it goes straight over the crowds head. It also makes him sound better that the crowd and so once again he is distancing himself from the crowd by putting himself above their level of understanding. Unlike Mark Antony, who literally comes down to the crowd’s level and talks to them as if he was one of them and not a superior to them.
“Censure me in your wisdom, and wake your senses, that you may the better judge”
This is an example of how complex Brutus’ language is, we have to consider that he is only talking to simple “plebeians” in the street who probably are not well educated and don’t understand what he is saying.
Another way in which the language of the two men is different is the way that they put their point across. When Brutus speaks he is very dispassionate and shows hardly any emotion at the death of Caesar.
Mark Antony however is much more passionate and it is obvious that he is hurt from the death of Caesar. A good example of this is when he says;
“My heart is in the coffin with Caesar”
This shows massive emotion on his part because just after he says this he pauses and this gives a much greater impact on the crowd.
A final way in which the language is different between the two men is the way that they both use the truth to their own advantage. Brutus strongly relies on the truth to win the crowd over.
“Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more”
In Brutus’ eyes this was the absolute truth because he firmly believed that was why he did it. He had been so manipulated that he honestly thought that he was killing Caesar for the good of Rome.
On the other hand Mark Antony twists the truth with an intention of turning the crowd against Brutus and Cassius. He does this fantastically well and plays on the crowds emotions of the crowd and uses them to his advantage. He try’s so hard to turn the crowd because he sees Caesars death as a huge injustice and wants to avenge his friend’s death by getting at the people who killed him- Cassius and his followers.
Both Mark Antony and Brutus use props to add effect to both of their speeches. However in the end it is evident that one of the men has used his props much better.
When Brutus comes out to address the crowd he stays in the pulpit which elevates him above the crowds level and it seems like he is talking down to them as his inferiors. Without him even saying a word he has distanced himself from them and makes them feel like he is their better.
Brutus takes out the same dagger that he used to kill Caesar and exclaims;
“I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death”
This is him attempting to reinforce his point that he killed Caesar for the good of Rome. He try’s to show the crowd that he killed Caesar because he was ambitious and that if he ever got to that stage then he would kill himself. This is because he loves Rome.
Brutus also leaves alone. This is him being very smart; he does this so he can get a quick escape if Mark Antony manages to turn the crowd against him. He tells everyone else to stay and wait to listen to Mark Antony so he can get away.
When Mark Antony comes out he is immediately using a prop – in his arms is Caesars body which he has carried out. This instantly silences the crowd and draws their attention. He uses Caesars body for impact and so that the crowd can see what Brutus has done.
He now has the crowd’s attention, he then takes out Caesars mantle and shows the crowd where Caesar was stabbed.
“Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through: see what a rent the envious Casca made: through this the well beloved Brutus stabbed”
The final prop that Mark Antony uses is Caesars will. He very cleverly plays on the selfishness of the crowd and manages to persuade them to keep listening to him and eventually turns the crowd against Brutus and causes the people to revolt.
He plays on their emotion and their greed, so when the crowd are tempted by Caesars will they are interested in what he has to say. When they found out that he had left them wealth and his gardens they are outraged that he was killed and this shows how fickle the crowd are and how easily turned they were.
Both men are effective in that they both succeed in what they set out to do except it is obvious one was better that the other.
Out of the two men I believe that Brutus was the least effective. He succeeded in getting the crowd to listen to him and gets them to accept the reasons for killing Caesar. He relies on the truth to win the crowd over.
However I think that Mark Antony is by far more effective. He, like Brutus, also succeeds in getting the crowd to listen to him but unlike Brutus he makes them believe in his sincerity. He gets the crowd to understand his point of view. He plays on their emotions and stirs them into a rage and this is more effective than just relying on the truth in this case.
When Shakespeare wrote this play one of his intentions was to show that you can’t triumph against the king. This was the divine right of kings, Shakespeare tried to show that kings are made by God, not man, so don’t interfere with the cycle. This was the message in many of his plays at the time.
He was also trying to show that nobody could gain long term benefit from plotting against the king. In all of Shakespeare’s plays whenever someone goes against the king they are punished in the end and even sometimes put to death. For example in the end Brutus, Cassius and all the other plotters were punished in ‘Julius Caesar’
When the audience sees the play they should feel sympathy for Brutus because he is doing the terrible deed because he truly believes he is doing the right thing, however they should also appreciated how well and cleverly Mark Antony turns the crowd around to avenge his friends death.
In conclusion both men were successful with their speeches because they both get the crowd to listen to them.
Mark Antony was the most successful because in the end he gets the crowd to do what he wants by twisting the truth and appealing to the individual greed of the crowd and their strong emotions.
Brutus made a few mistakes that led to his downfall. The first and the most costly one was letting Mark Antony speak to the crowd at all, he was a much better speaker and influenced the crowd massively, if he hadn’t have spoken to the crowd none of this would have happened. Brutus also relied on the truth to win over the crowd which was not a powerful as their emotions.