The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1631 Tuesday, 27 September 2005
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.
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