How does Antony show himself to be ruthless in this Act 4, scene 1, of Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, Antony, though he loved Caesar and mourns his death, may be as ruthless as Brutus feared Caesar would be.

As the second triumvirate (Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus) of Rome forms, Caesar's power is divided among three men. Antony's ruthlessness is seen in several ways.

First, Antony takes part with the other two men in compiling a list of people they will have executed to avoid complications with these enemies. This is known as the "proscription scene."

...the proscription scene may supply evidence that Antony is self-serving and cruel...

Antony ruthlessly agrees to have his nephew put to death if Lepidus will have his own brother killed. Antony and the others show their greed in planning to change Caesar's will. Antony also believes that Lepidus is too weak to rule in Rome. He plans to depose him of his power. Antony is insulting of this man who has proven himself in battle, and in comparing the other man to a horse than must be trained, he shows an undesirable side of a future leader of Rome.

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Julius Caesar

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