Brevity=Wit Entry #6

December 14th, 2009 by Wordsman

Now, when we left off last week, Brutus had just calmed the rabid crowd (with the help of some tasteful editing) by convincing them that Caesar’s death was necessary in order for them all to remain free of tyranny.  But the funeral was not over yet.  Someone had to speak up for Caesar, and that someone was Marc Antony.  He may not have been as smart as Brutus, but he knew one thing: when given the choice, always choose to speak second.  And, to the ears of the gathered mob (who were satisfied by Brutus’ speech and probably already starting to break up), he spoke thus:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is of”

Okay, so he starts off a little better than Brutus.  Antony was more of a people person.  It doesn’t take him nearly as long to get across the point that he wants them to listen.  After that, though, things go downhill.  It sounds like all he’s doing is backing up Brutus.  Not only does he say he’s not going to praise Caesar, he even goes so far as to suggest that the man was evil.  Maybe he was going to stick in something about how he was also good there at the end, but unless you were really paying attention, how would you ever know?  Looks like Marc Antony could use a little help as well:

“Listen, folks.  I thought Caesar was good, but Brutus says he was bad, and Brutus is honorable, right?  But, see, there’s this will . . .”

If there’s one thing that’s going to get people’s attention at a funeral, it’s a will.  By mentioning it right off the bat, he can ensure that everyone will forget all of Brutus’ high-fallutin’ talk about slavery and tyranny and such.  Marc Antony 1, Brutus 0.

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