The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1631  Tuesday, 27 September 2005

From: 		Mark Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 26 Sep 2005 09:48:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 	Friends, Romans, Countrymen

I would like to get people's opinion about something that I am not clear 
about in Marc Antony's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." speech Act 3 
scene 2 of Julius Caesar.

I have done this speech for auditions.  Here is my question that I'd 
like you to weigh in on.

I am not sure why Antony repeatedly calls Brutus and others "honorable" 
as in "Brutus is an honorable man" and "they are all honorable men". 
Is he being ironic, sarcastic, or sincere? What is his objective in 
saying this not only once but several times.

Possible explanations below.  Which do you think is correct or do you 
have an alternative explanation.

1. Antony is openly mocking (by saying the lines ironically or 
sarcastically) Brutus by saying he is "honorable" to show the people 
that he is not and change their opinion of Brutus.

2.  At the point of the speech Antony is concerned that the mob will 
storm the stage and rip him to pieces if he speaks badly about Brutus 
since the people is on Brutus' side at this point. Therefore, his 
objective is to appease the crowd.

3.  Brutus is nearby listening and Antony is aware of this and wants to 
feign to Brutus that he respects him and means him no harm.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.  Any other insight into the speech 
is greatly appreciated.

Mark Alexander
Chicago, IL

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