Brutus Funeral Speech Essay


After the death of Julius Caesar, both Brutus and Antony speak at Caesar’s funeral. While Brutus tries to prove to the audience that his actions in killing Caesar were dignified, Antony tries to convince the audience that Brutus’ actions were in fact disgraceful. Brutus’ speech was more persuasive, as he used powerful techniques to move his audience. Throughout his entire speech, Brutus emphasized his credibility and faithfulness to appeal to the Romans, while also giving his speech a stronger meaning and a more memorable essence.

For example, right at the beginning of Brutus’ speech, he emphasizes his nobility in an attempt to urge his audience to hear him out. Brutus explains to the audience that they should “believe [him] for his honour, and have respect to [his] honour” to remind them of his honest and respectable character (JC 1/3). By starting off this way, Brutus is able to use his good reputation to assist him in making the Romans listen and understand why he had to kill Julius Caesar. Brutus goes on to explain that his actions were sincere and well-intended, as what he did was solely done out of his love for Rome and no other reason. The audience is impacted greatly by Brutus’ words, being that Brutus is showing vulnerability, by putting his feelings out on display. He ensures the audience that he is loyal and telling the truth because “as [he] slew [his] best lover for the good of Rome, [he] has the same dagger for [himself], when it shall please [his] country to need [his] death (JC 5/3-4). By closing his speech in such a way, Caesar leaves the Romans to think about how his actions were a symbol of devotion to both them and their home. Brutus displaying his loyalty in this way compels the audience to both feel empowered and understand his actions, and by the end of his speech, the audience agrees with Brutus’ words, deeming himself once again as an honorable man. 

All in all, Brutus being able to effectively use rhetorical techniques throughout his oration, made his speech more persuading. This is because Brutus was able to greatly influence his audience in a way where in the end, they would feel positively toward him.

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