In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar—in Act 3, scene two—having turned the crowd against the conspirators, who does Antony go to meet?

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Act Three, scene two, of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Mark Antony greets the people after Brutus has explained his part in Caesar's murder. At first the citizens of Rome are very supportive of Brutus and Cassius, believing that Caesar was overly ambitious and a danger to Rome. This is, in fact, what Brutus himself believed. Mark Antony has asked Brutus for permission to bury Caesar and Brutus agrees. Mark Antony has led the conspirators to believe that he will listen to their reasons and not try to punish them for their actions, but has secretly pledged to see each one of them dead.

When Brutus and the other conspirators leave, Antony begins to deliver a funeral address:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. (lines 81-82)

Although he reiterates several times that Brutus and Cassius are honorable men, Antony does praise Caesar. He is a wonderful speaker. He relates the fact that Caesar refused the crown three times. He speaks to the terrible wounds inflicted upon Caesar's body. He also reveals that in his will, Caesar has left everything to the people of Rome: seventy-five dollars to each man, as well as the lands and orchards recently planted.

Hearing all of this, the crowd turns against Brutus and Cassius. The body of Caesar is removed. It is at this point that a servant arrives to tell Antony that Octavius and Lepidus have arrived and are waiting at Caesar's house. Antony tells the servant he will visit with "him," referring to Octavius.

ANTONY:

And thither will I straight to visit him.

He comes upon a wish. (277-278)

In answer to the question, Antony goes to meet Octavius.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Marc Antony goes to meet Octavius Caesar.  After his persuasive arguments against Brutus and the conspirators, Antony is able to incite the Romans to civil revolt as they run through the streets of Rome in a highly agitated state, crying that they will avenge Caesar's death.  Ironically, Marc Antony also plans revenge, revenge against Brutus and the others who run "like madmen through the gates of Rome," fleeing for their lives.

With Gaius Octavius Thurinus having been adopted posthumously by his great uncle, Julius Caesar, in his last will and testament that Marc Antony has read to the Romans, Antony rushes to the new Caesar in order to join forces with him and with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in what has come to be known as the Second Triumvirate.  Eventually, this triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members, a situation hinted at in Act IV of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

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