Ventidius is a general in the Roman army and one of Antony’s oldest and closest friends. He is fiercely proud, honorable, and eager to fight in war rather than remain in the palace. He is depicted as Antony’s “other half” in the Platonic sense—which is to say, the classical ideal of friendship in the writings of Plato, in which friends are imagined as sharing the same soul. And indeed, in some ways, Ventidius does know Antony very well, having experienced many battles with him. But he also proves that he doesn’t understand Antony in some fundamental ways. For instance, he is harshly critical of his love affair with Cleopatra, calling Antony her “slave” and a ruined man who has lost everything for “this toy,” as he refers to Cleopatra. He thinks Cleopatra is a dangerous seductress and constantly works with her enemies (including Antony’s abandoned wife Octavia) to try to turn Antony against her. In his hatred of Cleopatra, he misses the fact that she is not wholly responsible for the changes in Antony’s fortunes—he made those choices himself. He also fails to understand the depth of the love Antony has for Cleopatra, such that Antony would prefer to die with her rather than make peace with Octavius. He only comes to realize this at the end of the play, when Antony asks him to help him commit suicide. Ventidius stabs himself instead, demonstrating his own love and loyalty to Antony. Although Ventidius is a flawed reader of people, then, he is unmistakably a constant friend to Antony.