Julius Caesar

Classification of the Main Characters of William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

Although the characters of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar can not be easily classified because of their emotional depth and mental complexity, one can draw certain conclusions about them based on the attributes that they possess. Shakespeare uses the intricacy of the characters' personalities to develop the plot. The motives of some characters are often quite obvious, while other characters intentionally or subconsciously mask their intent to maintain an appearance of loyalty or to deceive their adversary. Few of the characters match perfectly one of the four character descriptions; protagonist, antagonist, anti-hero, or heroic anti-hero, but rather are a composite of different aspects of each.

Mark Antony is probably the easiest of the characters to classify. He is quite clearly an antagonist. Before the assassination Antony makes only four brief appearances and speaks as many lines. Three times, twice at the games and once at Caesar's house, Antony affirms his allegiance to Caesar as a ruler and as a friend. After the assassination; however, Antony hastens to fill the void made by Caesar's absence and he becomes a prominent player in the struggle for power. Beginning with Antony's use of his servant to flatter...

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