What predictions does Marc Antony make about the future of Rome without Caesar's leadership?    William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Act III, Scene 1, of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony sends his servant to request of Brutus an audience for his master who wishes to know how Caesar has deserved his death.  Brutus agrees to speak with Antony, promising no harm to him; Antony appears and asks the conspirators to kill him, too, but Brutus will not hear of his dying.  Rather, he tells Anthony that he and the other conspirators wish to have Antony's friendship. With duplicity, Marc Antony expresses a desire to shake the hands of each conspirator, and he requests that he be allowed to speak to the Roman people himself. Against the advice of Cassius, Brutus agrees, demanding of Antony a promise that he will not disparage him or the other conspirators.  Antony agrees, but as he waits, he kneels over the body of his old friend.

In the subsequent powerful soliloquy, it is an incensed Antony who speaks.  Revealing his true feelings, he utters a curse, then predicts the fate of Rome:

Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy
Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue,
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,(3.1.278-285)

Antony calls for a violent, bloody civil war will ensue after he has finished speaking to the plebians. With such civil strife, Antony says the "foul deed" of the conspirators will become apparent to other peoples far and wide.  Antony, also, vows revenge against those who assassinated Caesar.


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