Julius Caesar's Will: Octavius Named as His Heir and Adoptive Son

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Octavius
In Julius Caesar's will, his grand-nephew, Octavius, was named as his heir and adoptive son. Octavius was related to Caesar through his grandfather, who married a sister of the Roman dictator. As one of the three triumvirs, Octavius is the youngest and the most ambitious of the three. He began his career with little — except the name of his grand-uncle Julius Caesar, his father by adoption, and he naturally wanted more — all that was possible. Having been named heir in Caesar's will, Octavius comes to Rome to claim his fortune. Nothing exists for young Caesar except the single goal of acquiring and maintaining power. As such, he is the antithesis of Antony, who becomes involved in a love affair that ultimately outweighs his own quest for mastery of the world. Because of the limited range of Octavius's vision and interests, he often appears cold and calculating, and many of his actions are indeed calculated ones. In betrothing his beloved sister to Antony, his long-time rival, he shows that he is capable of placing political expediency above family loyalty. Conversely, when Antony abandons Octavia, Octavius acts like the outraged brother who wishes to avenge his sister's honor. While his pride is understandably piqued, his anger also hints of opportunism, for here is the perfect pretext for attacking his rival. Octavius struggles for supremacy within the Triumvirate, but interestingly, his contest is only with Antony, for neither he nor Antony considers Lepidus an equal. Throughout the drama, neither Antony nor Octavius trusts the other. Nor does Octavius's sister, Octavia, wholly trust Antony. She is well aware of his greater experience in battle and statesmanship, as well as his popularity with his soldiers and with the public, compared to her brother's inexperience. Quite naturally, Octavius is insecure about his ability to succeed in an arena where Antony has been active for close to twenty years. But he gains confidence as he observes Antony's...
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