The character of Mark Antony from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar
may be viewed as simply the confident and devoted supporter of Julius
Caesar. On the contrary, Antony presents the qualities of a shrewd flatterer, a
ruthless tyrant, as well as a loyal follower. Antony's characteristics will
change as the play progresses. He will begin using flattery to get what he
wants, but he will eventually depend on his powerful relentlessness.
Furthermore, Antony uses these various attributes to make him successful.
Throughout the play, Antony uses flattering to achieve his goals.
Following the assassination of Caesar, Antony quickly grasps that he must
deal with Brutus, and he has the shrewdness to take advantage of Brutus's
gullibility. Antony has his servant say, "Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and
honest" (III i 126). From this point, it is clear that Antony intends to flatter
Brutus and to work upon those personal qualities of Brutus which represent
his fundamental weaknesses. Antony then comes to the Capitol where he
further flatters the conspirators by shaking their hands and saying, "Friends
am I with you all, and love you all..." (III i 220). This act symbolizes that
Antony has made a new friendship with the conspirators, but in reality, he is
plotting to seek revenge so he can take over Rome. Antony is also able to
flatter the vast angry crowd in order to get his way. He is first able to get the
crowd to feel sorry for him. This feeling is evident when the second plebeian
says, "Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping" (III ii 116). Antony is
then able to turn the people in the crowd against Brutus by teasing them with
Caesar's will. Antony says, "And being men, hearing the will of Caesar, it
will inflame you, it will make you mad" (III ii 144-145). This blandishment
provokes an immediate response of the crowd demanding that Antony read... Continues...