Marc Antony was true friend to Caesar. Some historians have written that Antony was Caesar's best friend. In William Shakespeare's political play Julius Caesar, Antony leads the opposition toward the conspirators. Cassius was right; Marc Antony should have been assassinated along with Caesar.
One of the great generals in Caesar's army, Antony earned Caesar's trust. Antony's part in the first two acts of the play is limited. In Act I, Antony demonstrates his athletic prowess running in the marathon. Later, he offers the crown to Caesar three times before he accepts. He assists Caesar when he has a seizure.
Trebonius reflects on Antony's hedonistic tendencies. His pleasure-seeking flavored the judgment of the conspirators. Brutus convinces the others that Antony was not a serious threat before the assassination, the conspirators have Trebonius pull Antony aside so that he would not be able to stop the killling of Caeasr,
After the assassination, Antony returns to the Senate to see what actually took place. Shrewdly, Antony grieving for the lost of the greatest Roman citizen, manipulates Brutus and the other conspirators by making them think that he has come only to take care of Caesar's body. When he speaks to Caesar's corpse, it becomes apparent that Caesar's death will be avenged.
Brutus determines that Antony is harmless without Caesar.
Brutus, did my master bid me kneel,
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down,
And, being prostate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest...
Antony's funeral oration ranks as one of the greatest soliloquy's in literature. Speaking from his heart, Antony mourns Caesar's death. Sometimes, he seems almost unable to go on with his oration. On the other hand, Antony's repetition of words, his verbal irony, and the manipulation of the crowd, masterfully begins the vengeance for Caesar and turns the crowd against the conspirators. He has cleverly outwitted Brutus and Cassius.
In Act IV, Antony presents another side of his character when he along with the other members of the triumvirate decide who should live or die. His cruelty goes so far as to offer up his nephew to be murdered. Like the assassins, Antony also shows his ambition for power.
Proving that Antony is a complex man, in Act V he saves Lucilius, a member of Brutus's party when he is taken prisoner. Antony asks that he be treated well. Antony also honors Brutus by stating that Brutus was the only one of the conspirators who acted for the general good of Rome, rather than out of envy of Caesar