The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic drama that takes place in the 1st century BC in Rome, Italy. The play covers events surrounding and including the death of Julius Caesar. Mark Antony is his trusted friend and supporter. Another friend of Caesar, but much less of a supporter, is Marcus Brutus, who is a leader of the conspiracy against Caesar. While Antony and Brutus are both friends of Caesar, other character traits including courage, loyalty, and sincerity set them apart from each other.
Antony and Brutus are both admirably courageous. It took great courage for Brutus to kill Caesar, for he was his best friend. He shows the complications in the decision when he tells the plebeians
"As Caesar loved me, I weep for him. As he was
fortunate, I rejoice at it. As he was valiant, I honor
him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him." (p. 405)
After Caesar's death, Antony shows courage in betraying the conspirators. Brutus claims he has "found no man but he was true to [him]" (p. 430), which shows how well liked and well respected Brutus is. For Antony to go against such a figure and turn the public toward mutiny took a great deal of audacity. Brutus has more honorable courage. Before committing suicide, he says to Volumnius, "It is more worthy to leap in ourselvesThan tarry till they push us" (p. 430), thinking that he had been beaten. Brutus then asks Strato to help him kill himself, not to do it for him: "Hold then my sword…While I do run upon it" (p. 430). Here he shows he is worthy of this noble death, and he is courageous to execute it himself. Antony is also courageous for a killing, but not a noble one. When Antony says to Octavius, "we take down his load, and turn him off" (p. 414), he means to kill Lepidus. Any killing takes courage, but Brutus' reasons were far more justified and for a better cause than Antony's.
Great loyalty is a trait that both Antony and Brutus also share, but who or what they are...
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