Critical Lens Essay

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Augustus Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: February 17, 2014
An anonymous author once wrote, “The best way to judge a man’s character is to see what he does when he thinks no one is looking.” This statement describes that a one may never know the true character of another until one sees that person behind closed doors. People tend to hide their true character, for many reasons, and others will not see their true character for fear of being judged or ridiculed. This statement is expressed many times in Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, and Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. Only when the characters are alone is when their true personalities show. Together, the quote is proved to be, in fact, true.

Mark Antony, one of the main characters of Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, is made out to be one of the “good guys” all throughout the play, but as seen later after Caesar’s death, he actually had bad intentions from the start. It was not known that Mark Antony had bad intentions, until he was alone in the play. When he was alone, he showed who he really was, proving the quote true. In a play, the best way to find out a character's true identity is through a soliloquy: “Fierce civil war will paralyze all of Italy...which will beg to be buried” (Act 3 scene 1 lines 280-301 J.C.). These words from Mark Antony are the words that had shown his true identity, and he had been alone while saying them. The words spoken by Mark Antony when he is showing his true self help characterize him throughout the play. Although Mark Antony had had bad intentions, he also caused some good to come out of his plan. Caesar was loved in the end, not hated like Cassius had wanted, which helped change all of Rome. Mark Antony, who was once respected and loved by almost everyone, including Ceasar, had caused a lot of harm for his own personal gain, and had caused little good. Although there was a lot of blood spilled over people who had hidden their true personalities, in the end their true personalities had shown a little, even though they were...
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