Julius Caesar, Act III
Rhetorical devices
and other terms to know
Antistrophe
Definition: the repetition of a word or
phrase at the end of successive clauses
Example: repetition of the phrase
“Brutus is an honourable man.” Act III,
scene ii
Antithesis
Definition: juxtaposition, or contrast of
ideas or words in a balanced or parallel
construction
Example: "Not that I loved Caesar less,
but that I loved Rome more.” Act III,
scene ii
Aposiopesis
Definition: a sudden breaking off in the
midst of a speech/sentence, as if from
inability or unwillingness to proceed.
Example: “Bear with me; My heart is in
the coffin there with Caesar, And I must
pause till it come back to me..” Act III,
scene ii
Appeals: Emotional/Pathos
Definition: persuading by appealing to the
reader/listener's emotions
Example: 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, bearing 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!”
Appeals: Logical/Logos
Definition: persuading by the use of
reasoning/logic
Example: Brutus’s speech
Appeals: Ethical/Ethos
Definition: Appeal based on the
credibility or character of the speaker
Example: Brutus’s speech, “believe me
for mine honour, and have respect to
mine honour, that you may believe…”
Asyndeton
Definition: Figure of omission in which
normally occurring conjunctions (and, or, but,
for, nor, so, yet) are intentionally omitted in
successive phrases, or clauses; a string of
words not separated by normally occurring
conjunctions.
Example: "Are all thy conquests, glories,
triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little
measure?" Act III, scene ii
Epimone
Definition: frequent repetition of a phrase
or question; dwelling on a point
Example: "Who is here so base that
would be a bondman? If any, speak; for
him I have offended. Who is here so
rude that would not be a Roman? If any
speak; for him have I offended.” Act III,
scene ii
Eulogy
Definition: formal speech of praise,
usually associated with a funeral
Example: Antony’s speech, Act III, scene ii
Metonymy
Definition: substitution of some
attributive or suggestive word for what
is meant (e.g., "crown" for royalty)
Example: "Friends, Romans, countrymen,
lend me your ears.” Act III, scene ii
Paralepsis
Definition: emphasizing a point by
seeming to pass over it
Example: "Have patience, gentle friends,
I must not read it. It is not meet you
know how Caesar lov'd you." Act III,
scene ii
Parallelism
 Definition: similarity of structure in a pair or
series of related words, phrases, or clauses
 Example: “Who is here so base that would be
a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I
offended. Who is here so rude that would not
be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I
offended. Who is here so vile that will not
love his country? If any, speak; for him have I
offended.” Act III, scene ii
Polysyndeton
Definition: the deliberate and excessive
use of conjunctions in successive words
or clauses (opposite of asyndeton)
Example: “For I have neither wit, nor
words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance,
nor the power of speech, To stir men's
blood….” Act III, scene ii
Rhetorical Question
Definition: a figure of speech in the form
of a question posed for its persuasive
effect without the expectation of a reply
Example: “Did this in Caesar seem
ambitious?” Act III, scene ii
Verbal Irony
Definition: a figure of speech in which
what is said is the opposite of what is
meant
Example: “For Brutus is an honourable
man; So are they all, all honourable
men” Antony’s entire speech in Act III, scene
ii
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Julius Caesar, Act III