Comment on the use of irony in Antony’s speech in Act III of Julius Caesar.

Comment on the use of irony in Antony’s speech in Act III of Julius Caesar.

Comment on the use of irony in Antony’s speech in Act III of Julius Caesar.

Comment on the use of irony in Antony’s speech in Act III of Julius Caesar.

The funeral oration of Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a stellar piece of rhetoric.  One rhetorical technique that Antony uses is repetition; however, his repeated phrase is contradictory to what Brutus in his previous address has claimed.  For, Brutus has sworn that he loved Caesar, and it was because he loved Rome more that he felt it necessary for Caesar to be removed from power.Marc Antony takes this very thesis of Brutus’s speech, the very reason that makes the Roman people accept Brutus’s reasoning, and skewers it, creating doubt in the minds of the crowd as he repeats three times [always a significant number!] with verbal irony,But Brutus says he [Caesar] was ambitious,/And Brutus is an honorable man (III,ii)The effect of Antony’s ironic suggestions of a different meaning for the words of Brutus as he repeats them is that the Romans begin to think about what is said, weigh the meaning, and, eventually, change their minds about Brutus’s honor.  Indeed, irony can be a persuasive tool for the accomplished speaker or writer.
Comment on the use of irony in Antony’s speech in Act III of Julius Caesar.