Julius Caesar

Shakespeare's Presentation of the Character of Mark Antony in 'Julius Caesar'

We meet the character of Mark Antony three times before Julius Caesar's death, though he speaks little and we do not get much of an indication of his character. Antony fully enters the play exactly halfway through, when he makes a gripping speech, and his eloquence changes the course of Roman history. From this point onwards, Antony becomes a key player in the action and begins to change the nature of events in the play, especially with respect to Brutus and Cassius. He takes part in the struggle for power, and is driven by the need to avenge Caesar's death. Antony emerges as a flamboyant character, but one who is also hard headed, clear-sighted, and ambitious.

Mark Antony was Caesar's closest and most faithful friend, confidante, and follower. The two men had fought many campaigns together, and knew each other very well. Antony is the only character in the play who calls Caesar by his first name, 'Julius', a sign of their strong friendship. Antony had also offered Caesar the crown three times, signifying his generosity and devotion. We see clearly Antony's love and admiration for Caesar in the three short statements he makes before Caesar's death, and over his corpse as he says, 'thou art the...

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