How to Move the Crowd: The Persuasive, Powerful Rhetoric of Mark Antony

This lesson pertains to Act III of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, specifically Mark Antony's funeral speech to the Romans following the death of Caesar.  Students complete a close reading of the scene, focusing on the use of rhetorical appeals and diction to convey meaning.  Students work in cooperative learning groups to dissect the speech and explore alternative ways in which Antony might have delivered the speech. Mark Antony's funeral oration in Caesar creates a platform for teachers to combine multiple standards (rhetoric/logic, critical listening, and writing). Analysis questions are included, and the suggested time allotment for analyzing the speech is two class periods.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.2.1
Demonstrate critical listening skills essential for comprehension, evaluation, problem solving, and task completion.
CLE 3002.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3002.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
CLE 3002.5.5
Analyze written and oral communication for persuasive devices.
CLE 3002.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of world literature.
GLE 0701.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas and supporting details of informational texts.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints


  • Folger edition of Romeo and Juliet
  • Handout: 15 Minute Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet prologue
  • Romeo and Juliet prologue cards