Discuss Marc Antony's character in Julius Caesar.

4 Answers | Add Yours

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Antony alters as the political winds shift.  Given preference by Caesar, he of course supports him, but after Caesar's murder "makes peace" with the conspirators, shaking each bloody hand.  Immediately after meeting with the conspirators, he vows revenge on them, addressing the slain Caesar -- Is this a reflection of how deep his friendship was for Caesar?  Perhaps. Was the murder instead his excuse to grab power?

Unlike Brutus, who attempts to speak the truth to the citizens, Antony twists his speech to manipulate them for his own ends.  He further makes a backroom deal of who shall live and die to garner support for his activities against Brutus and Cassius.  Successful in gaining power and seeing Brutus destroyed, he orders he be buried with full honors, which serves to underscore his own authority. Seems like a modern-day politician!

dbello's profile pic

dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

As great a general  that Caesar was Antony was just as great a soldier, which made them a great pair. However, Antony did not possess one fifth the military and social intellect of Caesar and this shortcoming would ultimately undermine the both of them. In many ways Caesar and Antony were polar opposites. Caesar possessed the disipline which Antony lacked, and Antony possessed the youth that Caesar wished he still had. By all accounts on the outside Antony was faithful to Caesar, but we must remember that when one lives in the shadow of another one's loyalty is subject to interpretation. Marc Antony tried to aspire to Julius Caesar, but was incapable of understanding the essence of who Caesar really was.

shreya181's profile pic

shreya181 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Yeah, he is manipulative but Anthony is pure at heart. He only designs a plan to bring out the conspirators' real reasons for murdering Caesar. It is not debatable that he loved Caesar. Yes, I do wonder why he sent a servant to um, demand? an assurance that he will be safe before entering the crime scene when later he tells them that if they were to kill him now, at this place or time "so apt" to die, with the "instrument" which killed Caesar, he will be most honored. He fears for his life. So what? Sue the guy.
Apart from that, Antony seems to be a I'm-a-good-man-but-if-you-kill-my-best-friend-i'll-take-my-sweet-revenge kind of guy. He's clever, very. Sharp, shrewd, knows when to play his cards. and then, he does stir the crowd up to a mutiny, even after repeatedly saying that’s not what he intends...
So all in all, he's not exactly noble, but when he promises Brutus to not speak ill of them, he keeps it, by twisting his words and implying things. Rhetorical questions, things like that. So he is clever/ scheming. Manipulative. But a good friend. And hell, that's what matter, right?

shreya181's profile pic

shreya181 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Yeah, he is manipulative but Anthony is pure at heart. He only designs a plan to bring out the conspirators' real reasons for murdering Caesar. It is not debatable that he loved Caesar. Yes, I do wonder why he sent a servant to um, demand? an assurance that he will be safe before entering the crime scene when later he tells them that if they were to kill him now, at this place or time "so apt" to die, with the "instrument" which killed Caesar, he will be most honored. He fears for his life. So what? Sue the guy.
Apart from that, Antony seems to be a I'm-a-good-man-but-if-you-kill-my-best-friend-i'll-take-my-sweet-revenge kind of guy. He's clever, very. Sharp, shrewd, knows when to play his cards. and then, he does stir the crowd up to a mutiny, even after repeatedly saying that’s not what he intends...
So all in all, he's not exactly noble, but when he promises Brutus to not speak ill of them, he keeps it, by twisting his words and implying things. Rhetorical questions, things like that. So he is clever/ scheming. Manipulative. But a good friend. And hell, that's what matter, right?

We’ve answered 318,994 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question