Tuesday April 21st, 2015
Marc Antony possesses many characteristics of sycophant, flattering his enemies, abusing their trust, and using current events to his advantage, which makes it hard to deny Marc Antony’s political brilliance, and yearning for power. Not unlike many other great politicians, Marc Antony, armed with the ability to manipulate a crowd’s emotions and alter their opinions, rapidly ascends to power. Furthermore, Marc Antony makes very calculated decisions, using the art of treachery to carry out his deceitful plans, all the while keeping his enemies oblivious. As the play progresses, Marc Antony’s loyalty to Caesar deserts him, culminating in him declaring Brutus, the murderer of his once beloved leader, to be the greatest Roman of all time. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony drastically develops from what some may view as a loyal supporter and friend of Julius Caesar to a ruthless political tyrant.
Both Marc Antony and Marcus Brutus use public speaking to great effect. However, Marc Antony wins favour with the plebeians through his persuasive use of repetition and sarcasm. “Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man” (3.2.94-95). Furthermore, Marc Antony uses the discovery of Caesar’s will to infuriate the Plebeians, informing them that they are Caesar’s heirs. This exemplifies Marc Antony’s understanding of his audience; relying on their greed to be the tipping point. Then, he subtly plants the idea of mutiny, “Good fiends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up. To such a sudden flood of mutiny”(3.2.220-221). It is bluntly apparent that Marc Antony is willing to use the death of a close friend to achieve his political ambitions and rise to power.
After The Battle of Philippi and the death of Brutus, Marc Antony declares Brutus to be the noblest Roman of all time. “This was the noblest Roman of them all”(5.5.45-46). Contrary to the views of a true friend of Caesar, he praises and talks of Brutus as if he were a hero. “He, only in a general honest thought And common good to all, made one of them.” (5.5.45-46). The irony behind these events is somewhat comical, considering Brutus was arguably the leader of the mass conspiracy and murder of Caesar. Once again Marc Antony shows his true colours, abandoning his previous motivations and attempting to gain the support of Brutus’s previous followers.
Following the death of Caesar, Marc Antony sends a servant to meet…