In the opening sections of his funeral oration for Julius Caesar, Mark Antony quickly moves the hostile crowd from believing they are well rid of Caesar to questioning the assassination. Through language which suggests he is contrasting his concrete experience with the conspirators" mere opinions, through phrasing which suggests that Brutus is wrong, and through a repetition of key words in contexts which reverse their meanings, Mark Antony sways the crowd to his opinion.
Antony uses language which contrasts concrete experience with Brutus" unsubstantiated opinion. Antony reminds the crowd that Caesar "did thrice refuse" the crown offered to him. Brutus "says" he was ambitious but Antony argues that an ambitious Caesar would have accepted the crown; he did not because Caesar truly possessed no lust for an increase in power. Antony also reminds the crowd how Caesar brought captives to Rome "whose ransoms did the general coffers fill." Caesar was a generous man who cared not only for himself, but also for the welfare of his public. Generally a man in Caesar's position would have become an ambitious miser, greedily keeping money away from his people. In addition, Brutus "said" Caesar's ambition led to his downfall. Antony stirs the crowd's memories of Caesar's generous donation, whereas an ambitious ruler would never entertain the thought of giving away money. The facts bear solely the truth, undermining Brutus" opinion. Antony then goes on to explain how "Caesar hath wept" when his people have been miserable. Despots, tyrants, and dictators .
are ambitious rulers that suppress their indigent people, ignoring their morose emotions. Antony fills the crowd's mind with doubt of Brutus" opinion, because Caesar can not be characterized as an ambitious ruler since he deeply cares for his people. Brutus "spoke" of an ambitious Caesar, but Antony disproves this claim because Caesar did not look for opportunities to take advantage of the townspeople in order to accumulate wealth or power, since he could sympathize with their feelings.