Rhetorical Devices in Julius Caesar

Rhetorical Devices Examples in Julius Caesar:

Act III - Scene II 1

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!..."   (Act III - Scene II)

Antony beings his speech, one of the most famous speeches in Shakespearian drama, by parodying Brutus's speech. Brutus says "Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause, and be silent." Antony improves the internal rhythm of the line and invokes an intimacy and shared nationality that Brutus's lines lack. In calling his audience "friends" first, Antony establishes a connection that Brutus's formulaic address lacks. Antony also uses mock humility with his "lend me your ears" as opposed to the arrogant command "be silent" that Brutus uses to command attention. Antony's rhetorical appeal allows him to manipulate the crowd and make them believe his position; Brutus lectured the crowd to get them on his side. For this reason, the crowd supports Antony's claim and turns on Brutus.