An Analysis of Marc Antony's Funeral Oration during Julius Caesar

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Analysis of Marc Antony's Funeral Oration

"...Bear with me; / my heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, / And I must pause till it come back to me." (JC III ii 47) Marc Antony's speech at Caesar's funeral was so cunning and powerful that it caused the crowd's loyalties to sway. Prior to Marc Antony's oration the crowd favored Brutus and the conspirators. However, Marc Antony's compelling discourse caused the plebeians to support him, and not Brutus. Marc Antony used three literary devices during his funeral oration, rhetorical question, sarcasm, and repetition, to successfully persuade the crowd.

Although the crowd was supportive of the conspirators after Brutus's speech, Marc Antony's use of sarcasm in his funeral oration caused them to rethink who they should support. According to, sarcasm is ironic remarks used to gain someone's attention and cause them to draw thoughts about someone of something.

Marc Antony's use of sarcasm during his discourse is evident in the following lines, " For Brutus is an honourable man / So are they all, honourable men." (JC III ii 46) Sarcasm is also evident in these lines, "...I rather choose/ To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, / Than I will wrong such honourable men." (JC III ii 48) The use of sarcasm was a crucial element in Marc Antony's speech. It caused the crowd to start feeling more agreeable towards Marc Antony's opinion than Brutus's. The crowd's opinion of Antony is evident in the following line; " There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony." (JC III ii 47)

As the crowd starts to listen more attentively to Marc Antony's speech, Marc Antony begins to use rhetorical question. According to, a...