Julius Caesar

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Mark Antony Character Analysis

Caesar's friend. He desires to make Caesar king, and virtually single-handedly brings about the undoing of the conspirators after Caesar's murder. Described as a passionate man who loves art and music, and teased even by Caesar for staying out late at parties, Antony is the opposite of the coldly logical Brutus. He was not sharp enough to suspect the plot against Caesar, but it is Antony's masterful speech to the plebeians that stirs them up against his killers. Antony can also be devious when necessary, planning to cheat the people by altering Caesar's will, and to eliminate his ally Lepidus. It is the combination of these qualities that make him a better all-around politician—and replacement for Caesar—than either Brutus or Cassius.

Mark Antony Quotes in Julius Caesar

The Julius Caesar quotes below are all either spoken by Mark Antony or refer to Mark Antony. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the The Folger Shakespeare Library edition of Julius Caesar published in 1992.
Act 3, scene 1 Quotes
Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker)
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.1.299
Explanation and Analysis:

Anthony has entered and seen Caesar's dead body. He his overcome with emotion, offering his life to the conspirators, but he is also calm and strategic. Antony shakes hands with the (literally) bloody conspirators, pretending to make peace, and asks only to speak at Caesar's funeral. Cassius, who wanted to kill Antony from the beginning, thinks it is a bad idea, but Brutus, who is convinced that the assassination was for the good of Rome, agrees to let Antony speak on the condition that he does not speak badly about the conspirators.

After the conspirators leave, Antony gives a soliloquy revealing his true intentions. He shows that he only acted civil with the "butchers" to allow for revenge. He predicts that war will break out because of the murder, and even suggests that Caesar's spirit will return to "Cry havoc" and unleash war so that his foul murder will be avenged. Antony is ultimately right about the return of Caesar's ghost and the war that will soon begin. He will soon harness his raw emotions in a public oration that will incite the very war he here predicts.

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, —
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men, —
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.2.82-96
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote is excerpted from one of the most famous speeches in Shakespeare. Brutus has already spoken to the public, beginning with "Romans, countrymen, and lovers." Brutus says that he loved and honored Caesar, but killed him because he loved Rome more. The public responds well, even to the point of wanting to crown Brutus. But Brutus makes the crucial mistake of leaving before Antony speaks. Antony, a powerful orator, makes an incredibly skillful speech in which he appeals to emotion, and turns the public against Brutus and the conspirators.

He begins by referring to the public as his friends, stressing immediately his difference from Brutus. Antony then goes on to "bury Caesar," seeming to respect the wishes of the conspirators but actually reminding the public of their love for Caesar while simultaneously casting doubt on "Brutus and the rest." Antony repeats Brutus's name many times, and ironically suggests that Brutus is "honorable." By using his skill with language and making public displays of his private emotions—at one point he pauses in his speech theatrically because he is overcome with emotion and tears—Antony is able to refute Brutus and turn the populace against him, beginning the civil war he predicted in his soliloquy. He carefully reveals Caesar's will and describes the murder with gruesome detail, even displaying Caesar's bloodied body, until the people are so riled up that they begin to riot. All the while, Antony maintains a show of innocence, claiming that he is a bad speaker and doesn't want to cause a commotion.

Act 5, scene 5 Quotes
This was the noblest Roman of all
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, "This was a man."
Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 5.5.74-81
Explanation and Analysis:

Cassius is dead, and the conspirators' armies are defeated. Believing that he deserves to die, Brutus runs on his sword and commits suicide. He justifies his death saying that it is not to avoid capture, but is rather honorable and a just punishment for his crimes. In the quote, Antony speaks having discovered Brutus's corpse. Antony claims that Brutus was the only conspirator who truly believed he was acting with honor and for the good of Rome, saying that the others only envied Caesar.

While he previously referred to Brutus as honorable ironically, here Antony is being genuine, and Brutus is given an honorable death rite. These lines make a good case that this play can be seen not as the tragedy of Julius Caesar, but rather as the tragedy of Brutus, as his death and failure are in ironic contrast to his virtuous character. Antony praises Brutus, saying that the elements were mixed in him especially well. By elements, Antony refers to the Renaissance belief in bodily "humors"—substances that governed one's temperament and character. His final sentence, attributed to nature, is enigmatic: "This is a man." Brutus is not a great man, or a much beloved one like Caesar, but nor is he described as evil. In the end, Brutus is characterized as simply a man. Recalling his desire to be a dog over a dishonorable Roman, Antony's characterization of Brutus as an honest man leaves Brutus's virtue and philosophy in tact, though his army has fallen and his life over.

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Mark Antony Character Timeline in Julius Caesar

The timeline below shows where the character Mark Antony appears in Julius Caesar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 2
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Caesar enters with Antony, Calpurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca, followed by a Soothsayer and many Plebeians,... (full context)
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As he passes in the procession, Caesar tells Antony that Cassius looks too "lean and hungry" (1.2.195) to be trusted, saying it's safer to... (full context)
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Once Caesar is gone, Casca tells Brutus and Cassius that Antony offered Caesar a crown three times, and that Caesar refused it, causing the crowd to... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
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After Decius asks whether only Caesar will be killed, Cassius suggests they kill Antony as well, since he may oppose them afterwards. Brutus says that without Caesar, Antony will... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
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...Capitol after all. Cassius, Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius, and Cinna enter to escort him. Antony enters a moment later, and Caesar teases him about being up late partying. Caesar suggests... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
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Caesar approaches the Capitol with the conspirators, followed by Antony, Lepidus, Publius, Popillius, and other Senators. Caesar notices the Soothsayer, and tells him his prophecy... (full context)
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In the Capitol, Trebonius talks with Antony, to draw him away. Metellus kneels before Caesar to beg for the repeal of his... (full context)
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Antony's servant enters with a message. Antony sends word that he will support Brutus if he... (full context)
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Antony enters, and is moved by the sight of Caesar's body. He says that if the... (full context)
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Alone, Antony predicts that a terrible war will engulf Rome as a result of Caesar's murder. A... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
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Antony has entered with Caesar's body in a coffin. Brutus departs, turning the pulpit over to... (full context)
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Antony says that he has "come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (3.2.71). He says... (full context)
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Antony regains his composure, and says he has no intention of wronging the honorable Brutus and... (full context)
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Antony describes Caesar's murder in graphic terms, and then uncovers Caesar's body. The crowd is ready... (full context)
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Antony finally reads Caesar's will, which promises a sum of money to every citizen, and announces... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
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At Antony's house, Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus make a list of those who should be executed for... (full context)
Act 4, scene 2
Act 5, scene 1
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Antony and Octavius wait on the battlefield. Antony says that Brutus and Cassius are only attacking... (full context)
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Brutus and Cassius speak with Antony and Octavius before the battle. They taunt each other. Brutus and Cassius call Octavius young... (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
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...loss of those troops and by deserters, is losing his half of the battle to Antony. He sends Titinius on horseback to see whether his camp is being burned, and sends... (full context)
Act 5, scene 4
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...with them. Cato is killed, but Lucillius pretends to be Brutus and is taken prisoner. Antony enters, and recognizes Lucillius, who says that Brutus will never be captured alive. Antony spares... (full context)
Act 5, scene 5
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Brutus and his attendants stop to rest, with Antony's men closing in. Knowing that he is beaten, and revealing that he has seen Caesar's... (full context)
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Antony and Octavius enter, with soldiers, and Lucillius and Massala captive. Strato is made a servant... (full context)
Act 4, scene 3
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...recent anger was uncharacteristic of him. Brutus tells Cassius that Portia, afraid that Octavius and Antony will win, has committed suicide by swallowing hot coals. Cassius expresses sympathy, but Brutus says... (full context)
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Titinius and Messala enter with news from Rome. They say that Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus have executed many senators. After some hesitation, Messala tells Brutus of Portia's... (full context)