Antony’s Funeral Speech: a close Reading Directions

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Antony’s Funeral Speech: A Close Reading

Directions: First, read the speech closely and write a line-by-line paraphrase in the column to the right. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions:

1.       What effect does Antony’s speech have on the crowd?

2. Antony uses the word “honorable” to describe Brutus and Cassius eight times. Each time the way in which it is spoken is different, and with a different purpose. Carefully trace the transition from the first “For Brutus was an honorable man” to “They that have done this deed are honorable,” explaining how Antony’s speech has led the crowd from one point of view to another. 

3.      How does Antony use pathos, logos, and ethos in his speech?


  • Ethos is an appeal to the audience that the speaker is a credible authority on the matter that is being presented. It is how the speaker convinces the audience that he or she is qualified to speak on the particular subject.

  • Pathos is an appeal to the audience’s emotions. It can be in the form of figurative langauge, a passionate delivery, or even a simple claim that a matter is unjust. Pathos is most effective when the author connects with an underlying value of the audience.

  • Logos is logical appeal, and the term logic is derived from it. It is normally used to describe facts and figures that support the speaker's topic. Since data is difficult to manipulate, especially if from a trusted source, logos may sway cynical listeners.  

Active Reading- Please read and annotate the lines below. Make sure to label each part of the speech that is an example of ethos, pathos, and logos. Furthermore, in the space to the right of the text, please rewrite the speech in your own words.

Antony’s Funeral Speech (III.II.74-108)


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;               
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;                               
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Caesar ... The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it ...
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all; all honorable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral ...
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man….
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason…. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

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