Julius Caesar


Marc Antony

A gifted orator, manipulator and charmer, Antony is really the perfect politician. He makes and switches allegiances as necessary; he uses and discards people and promises. In contrast to Brutus, Antony always keeps his own best interests close to heart, and carefully manipulates situations to keep himself in a position of power. His temporary feigned allegiance to Brutus after the assassination is a perfect example of this. By appearing to accept Brutus’s explanation for the murder of Caesar, Antony keeps himself safe and also cleverly gains an opportunity to address the citizens. He brilliantly turns the tide of popular opinion against Brutus and toward himself, securing the citizens’ support of the Second Triumvirate. But, like many successful politicians, Antony does not keep his promises. Although he uses Caesar’s will as a way of winning the good opinion of the people, he promptly gets hold of the will in order to change it to his own advantage. He is also willing to use Lepidus as an errand boy, but plots to divest him of any real power as soon as Lepidus has fulfilled his purpose. Although Antony’s status as an honorable man is questionable, the play ends with his victory over Brutus. Thus, the character of Antony invites us to examine whether morality and nobility are the necessary qualities of a successful politician.

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Essays About Julius Caesar