Logical Fallacies and Julius Caesar, Act III, scene II ap language and Composition



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Logical Fallacies and Julius Caesar, Act III, scene ii AP Language and Composition

As you read the speech, record and identify the logical fallacies Antony uses.

  1. Set up a chart to record these fallacies as follows: bandwagon -- lines ___ to ____.

  2. Then explain in detail what he says in those lines which constitute a bandwagon appeal. So, identify the logical fallacy and then explain its meaning and how it represents the fallacy you have indicated.

  3. Next, contemplate why he might have chosen to use certain techniques. Please, please, please, do not assume that it is a flaw in Shakespeare's writing and persuasion that he would use logical fallacies, nor is it a flaw in the character of Mark Antony. But, and this is a huge "but," Antony employed those fallacies for a reason, a purpose. Find the reason for it. Write a brief (a few sentences) analysis of possible reasons of their inclusion.

  4. One other element to consider is the reaction and vulnerability of the audience, the crowd in Julius Caesar. Evaluate the reaction of the audience, the statements they make, and what you glean from their communication with Antony. Include this in the same brief written explanation.



ANTONY. Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears 

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 judgment, 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.


1. PLEB. Methinks there is too much reason in his sayings.
2. PLEB. If thou consider rightly of the matter,

Caesar has had great wrong.


3. PLEB. Has he, masters?

I fear there will a worse come in his place.


4. PLEB. Marked ye his words? He would not take the crown;

Therefore tis certain he was not ambitious.



1. PLEB. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
2. PLEB. Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
3. PLEB. There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
4. PLEB. Now mark him. He begins again to speak.

Antony. But yesterday the word of Caesar might

Have stood against the world. Now lies he there, 

And none so poor to do him reverence.

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 honorable men. I will not do them wrong. 

I rather choose

to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, 

Than I will wrong such honorable men. 

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.
4. PLEB. We'll hear the will! Read it, Mark Antony.
ALL. The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will! 
ANTONY. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it.

It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.

You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;

And being men, hearing 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?
4. PLEB. Read the will! We'll hear it, Antony!

You shall read us the will, Caesar's will!

Antony. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile? 

I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.

I fear I wrong the honorable men

Whose daggers have stabbed Caesar; I do fear it.


4. PLEB. They were traitors. Honorable men!

ALL. The will! the testament!
2. PLEB. They were villains, murderers! The will! Read the will!
ANTONY. You will compel me then to read the will?

Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar

And let me show you him that made the will. 

Shall I descent? and will you give me leave?


ALL. Come down.
2. PLEB. Descend.
3. PLEB. You shall have leave.

[Antony comes down.]
4. PLEB. A ring! Stand round.
1. PLEB. Stand from the hearse! Stand from the body!
2. PLEB. Room for Antony, most noble Antony!
ANTONY. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

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 stabbed; 

And as he plucked his cursed steel away,

Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,

As rushing out of doors to be resolved

If Brutus so unkindly knocked or no;

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,

Quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart; 

And in his mantle muffling up his face,

Even at the base of Pompey's statue

(Which all the while ran blood) great Caesar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,

Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.

O, now you weep, and I perceive you feel

The dint of pity. These are gracious drops.

Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold

Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here! 

Here is himself, marred as you see with traitors.
1. PLEB. O piteous spectacle!
2. PLEB. O noble Caesar!
3. PLEB. O woeful day!
4. PLEB. O traitors, villains!
1. PLEB. O most bloody sight!
2. PLEB. We will be revenged.
ALL. Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!

Let not a traitor live!


ANTONY. Stay, countrymen.
1. PLEB. Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
2. PLEB. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him!
ANTONY. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up

To such a sudden flood of mutiny. 

They that have done this deed are honorable.

What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,

That made them do it. They are wise and honorable,

And will no doubt with reasons answer you.

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts. 

I am no orator, as Brutus is

But (as you know me all) a plain blunt man

That love my friend; and that they know full well

That gave me public leave to speak of him.

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, 

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech

To stir men's blood. I only speak right on.

I tell you that which you yourselves do know,

Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,

And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesar that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
ALL. We'll mutiny.
1. PLEB. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
3. PLEB. Away then! Come, seek the conspirators.
ANTONY. Yet hear me, countrymen. Yet hear me speak.
ALL. Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony!
ANTONY. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what. 

Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?

Alas, you know not! I must tell you then.

You have forgot the will I told you of.


ALL. Most true! The will! Let's stay and hear the will.
ANTONY. Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. 

To every Roman citizen he gives,

To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
2. PLEB. Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death!
3. PLEB. O royal Caesar!
ANTONY. Hear me with patience. 
ALL. Peace, ho!
ANTONY. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, 

His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,

On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,

And to your heirs for ever - common pleasures,

To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?


1. PLEB. Never, never! Come, away, away!

We'll burn his body in the holy place

And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. 

Take up the body.


2. PLEB. Go fetch fire!
3. PLEB. Pluck down benches!
4. PLEB. Pluck down forms, windows, anything!

Exeunt Plebeians [with the body].
ANTONY. Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot, 

Take thou what course thou wilt.


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