The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Mark Antony Character (W. Shakespeare)

Categories: William Shakespeare

Shakespeare is widely recognized as one of the most important stylists in the English literature. Characterized by significant contribution through his work on Drama and Plays; Reading and analyzing his work also provides an insight into the culture and society around those times. Shakespeare made sure to use irony in this poem so that readers can let the audience know more information than a character in a work. He used this literary device to build suspense, create tension, or sustain a reader's interest.

“The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, is mainly based on the assassination of Julius Caesar.

The character that was in charge of the assassination was, ironically, Marcus Brutus, a servant and close friend to Julius Caesar. In the poem there was Political decisions that were made through public debate and a convincing argument. As well with the ideas that would be best for Rome would overcome rather than the will of one ruler. This poem illustrates how a man “ Brutus” destroys the clarity of his ideal civilizations through ambition.

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Mark Antony’s speech was a repetition to show the opposite of he is trying to say in his speech. For example, “ The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answered 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.

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But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man”. This explains that Caesar was not ambitious because he had refused the crown thrice. Although Antony uses Verbal irony by repeating the phrase “ Yet Brutus says he was ambitious and Brutus is an honorable man”. Shakespeare wanted Mark Antony to sound more sarcastic so that the audience can see how Mark Antony is using verbal irony when he repeats the phrase “honorable man”. Using the repetition throughout the speech, it brings the audience to think that Brutus, is not actually honorable and Caesar not ambitious.

The theme of this speech is Ambition and conflict. Caesar was a great friend and person, but he was an ambitious man. He is ambitious because he worries about Brutus. Overall, this is how Antony uses Verbal irony to convince the audience what the conspirator did was wrong. Moreover, Antony talks about the kind of person Caesar was and the truth that Brutus said was falsely told. For instance, in the beginning of the speech Antony, began by talking about what kind of person he was.

Antony wanted people to know that what Brutus said about him was ambitious which wasn’t true. Antony wanted people to know how good of a person Caesar really was to everyone and to Rome. Even though Brutus has said that throughout his speech he gave out clues so that the crowd can be convinced on supporting Caesar. This is why Antony uses Verbal irony to express the kind of person Caesar was and how Brutus was saying untrue things.

When Mark Antony was giving his speech about Julius Caesar he showed how Caesar had been chosen to be the king, but he chose to help Rome and its people. For example,”You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,”. This shows that, Antony wanted to make the crowd come to a conclusion on how he wants them to without realizing it. This meant that, he was trying to convince the crowd that they loved Caesar once and should be angry because he was assassinated by Brutus.

Brutus conspirators characterize Caesar as a horrible person and because Brutus was known as to be a good person of Rome, people had rapidly changed their thoughts on Caesar. Mark Antony was explaining to the people of Rome that there was a judgement towards Caesar and they loved Caesar, but even Mark Antony was including in his speech that he hid it from Brutus and the conspirators so that if they identified that Antony was trying to say something he would end up like Caesar.

Another example of verbal irony found in the speech is the title “The noble Brutus” in which Antony gives Brutus at the beginning of his speech. This is another example of verbal irony used in Antony’s speech because of the fact that he doesn't actually believe that Brutus is noble, so he uses the phrase make it sound more ironic. Through direct characterization, we know that Brutus is a murderer, he says so himself in source two, a historical note ‘Caesar’s Death and Shakespeare's Play”, when he responds to why he had assassinated Caesar and took part in the killing.

“Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” He said this in his speech because he wanted the audience to know that he didn’t want to kill Caesar because he disliked him, but because he was jealous of what he had, which was Rome and thought Brutus himself can rule the Country better.Overall, Mark Antony uses Verbal irony to speak to the crowd about how the conspirators were bad people and how Caesar was a very important man who wanted to serve and do anything for his country, Rome.

Shakespeare used irony in his speech to show what he was repeating constantly such as “honorable man “. He did this to blame the conspirators for what they did to Caesar and what the people didn’t know the kind of people they really were. Using this irony in the Tragedy of Julius Caesar speech, Antony was able to say what he wanted to say and convince the audience.

Updated: Feb 22, 2024
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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Mark Antony Character (W. Shakespeare). (2024, Feb 22). Retrieved from

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