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Antony promises not to cause trouble when giving a funeral speech for his assassinated friend Caesar.He says the Brutus and the other assassins must have had good reason for doing it, because they are 'honorable.' Antony uses repetition of the phrase 'Brutus is an honorable man' to devastating effect.
He keeps coming back to Brutus with this repeated phrase: ''Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man'' (102-3).
On the surface, this repetition seems to be a way of going back to his original point, which is to agree with Brutus. Each time Antony calls Brutus an honorable man, the phrase takes on a stronger sense of irony, which is the literary device of saying one thing, but meaning the opposite.
It is an act of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech and writing.
It is delivered to a crowd with the specific purpose of turning them to Antony's point of view.
In this seemingly inconsequential moment of praise, Antony slips in a phrase that will be the key to the rest of his speech.
Antony then seems to get sidetracked from his plan to bury Caesar and not praise him.
Try it risk-free Marc Antony's funeral speech for the slain Caesar in Shakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' is one of the most celebrated rhetorical acts in dramatic literature.
Antony cleverly uses repetition to turn the crowd against the assassins without ever directly slighting them.
In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, a group of Roman senators conspire to assassinate the popular leader Caesar in order to prevent him from becoming a tyrant.
In Act 3, Scene 2, Brutus, one of the conspirators, gives a speech to the Roman people to explain why the assassins did what they did.