Mischief, thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt! You gentle Romans,— 18 Citizens. If any, speak; for him have I offended. Antony then teases the crowd with Caesar's will, which they beg him to read, but he refuses. Why do you think Shakespeare allows us to hear the speech of Brutus rather than that given by Cassius? Notice that Brutus speaks with studied plainness of manner, disdaining oratorical tricks and presenting his case with fewest possible words. You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? Tending to: indicating, touching upon.
But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar; I found it in his closet, 'tis his will: Let but the commons hear this testament-- 130 Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-- And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds And dip their napkins in his sacred blood, Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, 135 Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto their issue. And then begins the pathetic part. It is based on the life and after life of the great roman leader, Caeser. Let not a traitor live! You all do know this mantle: I remember The first time ever Caesar put it on; 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, That day he overcame the Nervii: Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through: See what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd; And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away, Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it, As rushing out of doors, to be resolved If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no; For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel: Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him! O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! In lines 1-4, Antony introduces himself to the crowd. However, there's another goal at play here.
I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. And thither will I straight to visit him: He comes upon a wish. O masters, if I were disposed to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. This is the logical thread of the text. Then he personifies the judgement and calls it with much emphasis. He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? Second Citizen If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong. Fourth Citizen Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony; You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest— For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men— Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. First Citizen O most bloody sight! You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, three times Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? They are just a mass of people that act as a means to an end. Brutus uses rhetorical questions as a persuasive technique. Octavius, lead your battle softly on, Upon the left hand of the even field. The populace of Rome has gathered outside the Senate—at the figurative heart of Rome, and thereby of the world—demanding explanations. At this point, Antony is still ostensibly speaking well of Brutus—at least to the crowd.
O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel The dint of pity: these are gracious drops. But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar; I found it in his closet, 'tis his will: Let but the commons hear this testament-- Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-- And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds And dip their napkins in his sacred blood, Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto their issue. You move forward in your seat, straining to hear what John is saying. You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar, It will inflame you, it will make you mad: 'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs; For, if you should, O, what would come of it! O, yes, and soundless too; For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony, And very wisely threat before you sting. We'll burn his body in the holy place, And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. It is still the ides of March, a few hours perhaps after Caesar's death. By doing this, Antony puts himself in a better light, setting up a position of authority that is complemented with an assurance that all that he says is of the truth.
When Antony insisted that Brutus tell him why they had killed Caesar, his motive was not to see if their cause was justified or not. Second Citizen I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons, When severally we hear them rendered. Brutus, ignoring the more sensible misgivings of Cassius, takes Antony at his word. With this I depart,--that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death. Antony's performance on the bully pulpit should come as no surprise.
Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here; Those that will follow Cassius, go with him; And public reasons shall be rendered Of Caesar's death. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Thanks to it, he arouses people's curiosity, without saying what the testament says : he makes a digression made of raw images, to make a strong impression. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; often So let it be with Caesar. Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers Hack'd one another in the sides of Caesar: You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds, And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet; Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind Struck Caesar on the neck. He talks of the nobility of Brutus, even though he has no respect for the man. Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous; He is a noble Roman and well given.
Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanced: Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, No Rome of safety for Octavius yet; Hie hence, and tell him so. Exeunt Citizens with the body. Third Citizen O woful day! But yesterday the word of Caesar might Have stood against the world; now lies he there. By combining a subtle use of questions and interjections to keep audience engaged, a variety of rhetorical devices devices that dignify Caesar and himself, and an effective use of all three modes of persuasion, Antony is able to convert the On the Ides of March in 44 B. He is already a man distrusted by the conspirators for his friendship with Caesar. Point out several ways in which Antony shows greater knowledge of human nature than does Brutus, -- also greater skill as an orator.