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PRAXIS IN DELIVERY
ANALYSIS OF' A SPEECH
The Subjective Treatment. — The analytic method of the book is applied in the preparation of the following selection. The attempt is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to further illustrate the method.
ANTONY'S SPEECH OVER CÆSAR'S BODY.
21. And Brutus is an honorable man.
Bear with me;
34. And I must pause till it come back to me. 1. The Subject and purpose of the address. Brutus and his confederates are assassins, enemies of Rome, and deserve death. The speaker's purpose is to excite the populace to violence.
2. The atmosphere or mood. The prevailing emotion or mood is that of pity and simulated humility.
3. Definition of words. Even when the meaning of words is familiar, it is well worth the while to define them, and to name their special qualities. Observe how difficult it is to define familiar words. The attempt will frequently be like Justice Shallow's attempt to define “accommodated.” “Come"=approach, be present; here, manifestive of purpose. “ To bury"
to inter a corpse, to hide in the ground, to entomb.
“ Cæsar = a conqueror, a wise ruler, a friend to many, the assassinated. “ Praise = to commend for virtues or worthy actions, to glorify. “ Evil"=injurious qualities, bad qualities, wrong deeds. “ Lives" =abides, continues. “The good" =right deeds, virtuous conduct, helpful qualities. “Oft"=often, sometimes. “ Interred”= buried, put under the ground. * Bones (here) body; literally, a substance composing the skeleton. “Noble"=great, elevated, honorable reputation. “ Brutus "=noble Roman, a conspirator, a participant in the death of Cæsar. “ Ambitious "=desirous of power. “ Honorable "=of distinguished rank; illustrious, noble.
4. Logical Relations. “I” is the subject of “come.” “To bury Cæsar," predicate; “I,” understood, subject, and [come] “not to praise him," predicate. The latter is antithetic, but subordinate to the first clause. “ The Evil” is the subject; “ lives
after them,” the predicate. “ That men do," modifying “evil,” is subordinate. The first and last clauses are co-ordinate. - " The good is oft interred with their bones" is the leading statement. “ So let it be with Cæsar" is less analytic, and is conclusive. The thought and feeling repose for a while after this sentence. It is subordinate to the preceding member of the sentence. • The ... ambitious” continually heightens to the word "ambitious.” “ If it were so ” is subordinate to the next clause. 6 It. fault,” is made strikingly prominent; the hypothetical “ if” is kept rather out of sight, since he does not wish to question, at this point, Brutus's opinion.
5. Elipses. The elipses will be supplied in brackets.
The noble Brutus hath told you [but has given no proof that] Cæsar was ambitious;
If it were so, [but it is not], it was a grievous fault;
I thrice presented him a kingly crown (which shows he was not ambitious].
6. The New Idea. “Not praise" is the new idea. “Him,” old idea, previously given in the word, “ Cæsar." “ Evil," new idea. "Men" is a new idea, but subordinate. “Lives" is a new, idea, and is significant from what follows. Good" contains a new idea.
“ Interred” and 'bones” are each old ideas, previ. ously given in “bury” and “Cæsar.” “ So” is a new idea. “ Brutus " is a new idea. “ Ambitions,” new.
" Grievous fault,” Answered,” new. “To speak,” new. “Friend,” new. “Faithful,” “ just,” “.. me," each contains a new idea. “Ambitious,".
The style of this speech is rather laconic; and being broken up, and without oratorical continuity, it does not so well illustrate the relation of new and old as many other selections.
7. Imagination. - Picture the noisy, bustling rabble; imagine the difficulties of the situation ; see Antony with bowed head, defer-, ential and silent before the crowd, and in the presence of the body prepared for burial. All of the scene and occasion' emotionally affects the mind of the speaker, and hence, also, the mind of the person who reproduces it. In the first line, the reader looks at the imaginary body. One naturally imagines the evil deeds repeated from generation to generation,
The next picture awakened is that of mouldering bones; then the physical appearance of Brutus, rather tall, erect, strong, dignified, dark complexioned. A little further along, imaginatively, Cæsar is pictured triumphantly entering Rome, followed by a captive train ; the gold of their ransom is seen; next, in contrast, Cæsar, weeping; then ony, presenting him a crown; his waving it aside. A few other pictures present themselves. The selec-' tion, however, is not rich in things of the imagination.
8. Associated Ideas. -(1) "I come” suggests “bury; “bury,” “ Cæsar,” also, “praise.” The next line is rather disconnected. “ Evil” suggests
men;" “ men,” “ do," " lives," and good ; ” “ the good,” suggests “ interred;' " " interred," "bones." The second and third lines are introduced for the purpose of attributing them to Cæsar. “ So” summarizes and suggests the two preceding lines and also “ Cæsar.” (2) “ Praise" suggests “blame;" the blame others have placed on Cæsar. To the average mind, it suggests some sympathy with Brutus.
“ Evil” suggests possibly the evil of Cæsar. The listener connects the association. It is the evil.of men. • The good " is forgotten. By association, “good” is a quality of Cæsar. The orator says let the evil of Cæsar live and the good die. This by implication seems to side with Brutus. “Bones”
suggests powerlessness Cæsar's condition; hence he should not excite resentment. · Noble," being a complimentary term, suggests approval of Brutus's course. « Brutus hath told” suggests what he told of Cæsar's ambition ; this, moreover, suggests agreement with what Antony is telling. Cæsar's ambition was a fault. “If” adroitly slipped in -- the first note of dissent; but not dwelt upon. Grievously answered it,” suggests forgiveness and pity. The situation requires great caution. The orator breaks in upon the ideas. last introduced, and again refers to the superior power and place of “ Brutus and the rest.” Pauses to call them'" honorable.” Repeats it twice at short intervals. That word,“ honorable,” is the key-word to the most important association in the oration. By repetition and concurrent notions, its opposite is suggested and attributed, not by the speaker (no need of that), but by the listener to the conspirators. The eleventh line repeats the first. • Friend,” « faithful,” and “ just,” awaken ideas of approval ; “ to me,” added at last, allays all questioning. " But” suggests an antithetic idea ; ambitious " is smuggled in as that idea. They have approved “ friend,” “ faithful,” and “just ;" hence disapprove of “ ambitious." The next
line is thrown in to show agreement and to further impress “ honorable” on the listener. Many captives " suggests power, riches – the material for ambition. “ General coffers fill" suggests generosity, unselfishness. This, together with “Cæsar wept,”
," “ Crown thrice refuse,” suggests absence of ambition. 9. Emotions. — The whole speech is given with conversational simplicity and directness. The speaker, however, is thoroughly alert and intense. Grief and assumed humility are the prevailing emotions. Very meekly, he says, “ I come to bury Cæsar.” The feeling of positiveness or affirmation repeats itself. “So let it be with Cæsar,” given with feelings of tenderness and yet positive
From “ the ” to “ fault,” inclusive, given with lighter touch, and the next line with increased positiveness. The next three (8-10) lines given with feeling of simple statement; the eleventh line, the positiveness of completed statement. The eighteenth line is given
ith imitative (slight) tenderness; nineteent changes to feelings of sternness; twentieth and twenty-first, the feelings accompanying simple statement. “O judgment " reason," with regretful and censorious feeling. “ Bear. me,” given with a sudden break of overwhelming grief.
The various changes of emotion are so slight that they are not so easily described as in many selections.
The oration as a whole, viewed as a means to an end, is a masterpiece. From the ethical point of view, it is not defensible. Almost from beginning to end it is a tissue of false statements. The ethics of speech-making is an important subject. We can take space to say only that an element of the new oratory is honesty and direct
The Objective Treatment. - As the purpose in analyzing this speech is to make clear the method of this book rather than to aid in its special preparation, and as the instruction upon the Elements is already full, and more or less familiar as a method of treatment, it is hardly necessary to illustrate their application in this selection.
In dealing with the Elements, always remember that they are the counterpart of subjective conditions. In determining emphasis, stress, inflection, gesture, etc., apply the principles involved. Do not settle capriciously upon an