How are Antony and Cassius from Julius Caesar similar and different?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Similarities:

Both men recognize the threat in each other.  Cassius wants to kill Antony along with Caesar because he is afraid that Antony will seek revenge for Caesar's death.  Antony stays close to Caesar when he is alive and seems to agree with Caesar's assertion that Cassius has a "lean and hungry look." Additionally, both men recognize Brutus's value.  Cassius knows that it is imperative to get Brutus involved in the assassination plot because of the respect he commands in the Senate and with the citizens of Rome.  Antony, at the play's end, acknowledges Brutus's nobility even though he battled against him and eventually eulogizes the fallen senator. Both men use political upheaval for their own benefit.  Cassius seeks revenge upon Caesar and uses the crown situation and Caesar's being declared Dictator for Life to convince Brutus to get involved in his personal vendetta. After Caesar's funeral, Antony makes a hit list, presumably in the name of avenging Caesar's death, but also uses the list to get revenge upon those whom he sees as a threat to his future leadership.

Differences:

Antony is fiercely loyal to Caesar.  Caesar trusts him so much that he asks him to touch his wife to fulfill a Roman superstition that a runner's touch will rectify a woman's infertility. Cassius hates Caesar because of his victory over Pompey and seeks to destroy him.  Finally, another important difference between the two men is that in this play Cassius does not handle crisis well, while Antony remains calm and strategic under pressure.  Cassius, in Act 4, comes across as a whimpering baby, while Antony meticulously plots his next move.

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Julius Caesar

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