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What are some character traits of Mark Antony?Need it for exam

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nabeelhussain | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 18, 2011 at 4:09 AM via web

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What are some character traits of Mark Antony?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted June 18, 2011 at 5:16 AM (Answer #1)

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Marc Antony is loyal to Caesar. He appears to be a genuine friend. He is a master at using rhetoric. Through his effective funeral speech, he stirs the people into a rage against the conspirators. He points out that Caesar has left each one of the people in his will.

Antony is very wise or sly. In Act three, Scene two, he continues to name Brutus as "Caesar's angel, pointing out how much Caesar loved Brutus, indicating that Brutus' cut was the most unkind of all the stab wounds:

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,(195)
Quite vanquish'd him. Then burst his mighty heart,

Antony used strong rhetoric and effective language to stir the people to a murderous frenzy. Whether or not Antony spoke out of true love for Caesar, his speech turned the city of Rome upside down. He was able to rally the people against the conspirators in just minutes after Brutus had comforted the people with his truth and reason for his actions.

Whether or not Antony is power hungry himself, he does appear to divide Octavius' sentiments against Lepidus. In Act four, Scene one, Antony belittles Lepidus, thus making himself superior in his own wisdom and knowledge:

Octavius, I am older than you. And, although we lay these honors on this man, To ease ourselves of different, disgraceful burdens, He shall only carry them as the donkey carries gold, Groaning and sweating under the load, Either led or driven, as we point the way; And having brought our treasure where we choose, We then unload him and let him loose, Like an unloaded donkey, to shake his ears And graze in the common fields.

It appears that power is changing Antony. He insults Lepidus in his donkey metaphor. He has become a confident leader. He suggests that he and Octavius just use Lepidus and then turn him loose. This is not an honorable quality. Lepidus has been a faithful soldier.

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