Commentary on the Relationship between Marc Antony and Julius Caesar
Loyalty means faithfulness to one’s friends, country, ideals, etc. What should one do when these loyalties conflict with one another? One would have to choose. A choice that can make or break a man, these choices broke many men in the play, Julius Caesar. One did not know who was friend or foe. Julius Caesar was a very honourable man and was respected by many. But the one man who expressed this more than any one in Rome was his loyal friend and aide, Mark Antony.
Mark Antony was a man who possessed loyalty. However, with Antony, loyalty to friends and to that of his country did not conflict. He saw Caesar for what he truly was, a noble Roman. Antony was a wise man. Not being sure of the conspirators plot, he gave them a fair chance to justify their unjustifiable assassination. When wise Antony saw no reason for the death of Caesar he played smart. Nevertheless, he was shrewd enough to use his love for Caesar to manipulate the murderers into believing his desire to “[take their] hands” and “be pricked in number of [their] friends”. Using the guise of a friendly gesture, he internally marked the conspirators for revenge. Because of his innate skill of reading people and melding his actions to their desires, the abettors were blinded by adulation and failed to see the irony in his words. Twisting people’s will to suit his own through flattery, expression, and rhetoric is a talent of Antony’s.
Brutus and Caesar Brutus was a trusted friend of Caesar and an honorable man, or so you thought. In William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus is presented as a loyal companion to Caesar showing himself as honorable only to turn around and betray his friend by death. This to me does not sound like the act of an honorable man. Can a man who is honored, be honorable? Brutus was a ...
Julius Caesar, the man that deserved to be dead the least, was deceased. He was loyal to his friends, the country, even the strangers of Rome and especially Antony. He showed it to. I believe that being loyal to a country means also being loyal to the citizens of it, and that he was. Antony painted the perfect picture of how much Caesar cared when he pointed out in his soliloquy that “when the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.” Being caring is indeed a good part of being loyal. Using his sly ways, he convinces the audience at Caesar’s funeral that rebelling against the murderers is not only what they need to do but what they want to do as well. What’s even better is that he manages to make them believe that this decision was made on their own part; however, it was a plot that he subliminally embedded into their brains. After Brutus spoke citizens cried that “Caesar was a tyrant” and felt loyalty to the aforementioned. Accordingly, he cleverly juxtaposed “ambitious Caesar” with “the noble Brutus” to convince the listeners of Julius’ true, caring self while simultaneously smiting Brutus’ character. Using persuasive rhetoric concerning the means of Caesar’s will, he then clenches the hearts of the people and gains a guarantee of having them on his side. Yet, even though the general welfare of the people is his first priority, Antony never separates his private affairs from his public actions.
Antony convinces the people that they would “beg a hair of [Caesar] for memory, and dying, mentions it within their wills, bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their issue” due to the treasures willed to them by the deceased Caesar. He then pulls a complete 180° turn and conspires with Octavius Caesar about “how to cut off some charge in legacies” in order to raise an army against Brutus and Cassius. It becomes pointedly clear in this dialogue that Antony doesn’t let ethical concerns prevent him from harvesting resources in a more politically tactical manner. In the two lines a flaw in Marcus’ moral dignity is revealed. Concurrently, Shakespeare sews in the underlying theme that solid virtuous principles can’t always co-exist with political success.
Antony has been described as "a self-seeking politician of no scruples." Do you agree Support your answer with close reference to the text. Antony appears to be loyal to Caesar, but his loyalty hides his underlying deceitful nature. Antony uses Caesar's death to his advantage. Antony capitalists on the opportunity it presents and progresses to become the victor and ruler of Rome. There is no doubt ...
However, although this blemish is disclosed to us, Antonius’ verbal irony is veiled from the public eye. He sagaciously employs Lepidus as a member of the triumvirate to bend to his own aspirations. He cleverly lies “honours on this man to ease [himself] of diver’s sland’rous loads”. Intending to have Lepidus “bear them as the ass bears gold,” “either led or driven as [he] point[s] the way,” he knows that in the end all the fault will lie with his frontman while his image remains virtually unscathed. By positioning Lepidus’ character beside a pack animal’s in an insulting simile, Antonius’ view of his ally as a stepping stone is projected and his principles are once again put into question.
In one instance Marcus Antonius is built up as a saviour of Rome as an effect of the charisma and sincerity that litter his long monologues and peek through his rhetorical sayings. Yet in the next his character may be pulled under the analytical knife by a sudden change in idiosyncrasies. In this way, Shakespeare effectively camouflages the total extent of Antony’s true qualities. By layering these multiple personalities, Shakespeare created a powerful, manipulative character (even more so than Cassius) within The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Therefore, no matter what conclusion is drawn about Marcus Antonius’ ethical principles, it must be succeeded that he, although not always an honest one, is a propitious politician.