Malcom X vs. Shakespeare

In: English and Literature

Submitted By paulmorris
Words 822
Pages 4
The Power of Tone
When reciting a speech, there are many writing strategies that add value to the words you portray. Among others, there is rhythm, parallelism and humor. Yet the most important aspect to your writing seems to be the use of tone. In their speeches, William Shakespeare and Malcolm X use different tones, appropriate for their cause, to get their point across more effectively. In Brutus’ speech, written by Shakespeare, he talks with a fake sympathy for the death of Julius Caesar. Antony’s speech, also by Shakespeare, uses a truer compassionate tone towards the death of his dear friend, but sarcastic towards the “honorable” Brutus. In The Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X shows a disappointed and angry tone directed at the African Americans who aren’t showing initiative to better their lives.
Brutus, after having committed a crime of a tremendous scale, tried to escape punishment by justifying the murder with a later disproved excuse. His claim: Caesar was ambitious. For unknown reasons Brutus, accompanied by his comrades, had killed Caesar. Now to reinforce his false claim, Brutus talked with an exceedingly convincing sympathy. In his speech, he claims “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his.” If Brutus had talked portraying no sadness, no sympathy, the event would have turned out very differently. Had Brutus just said Caesar was ambitious, without pointing out their close friendship or their love, he would probably have been executed on that same stage. Instead the crowd chanted “Live Brutus, live!”
Right after Brutus had finished talking, Antony came into the scene to say a few words at Caesar’s funeral. At this point, the crowd was thinking the murder was a righteous event due to the argument made by Brutus. Antony beautifully combines sarcasm with compassion to...