Comparison of Shakespeare's presentation of Antony and Brutus
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Compare Shakespeare's presentation of the characters of Brutus and Antony. In Shakespeare's play, 'Julius Caesar', Shakespeare presents the way power affects the individual and examines people's loyalty to one another and the state during Roman times. Brutus and Antony are two interesting characters in the play. They are both portrayed differently and have differences. The first one being in their attitudes to enjoying life and having some fun. Brutus is a more conserved and quiet person whilst Antony enjoys parties and late nights. Secondly their loyalty to Caesar differs. Brutus is not loyal to Caesar whilst Antony is a lot more loyal to Caesar. Thirdly, Brutus's decisions have power and are listened to whereas Antony doesn't have much power without Caesar being there. And lastly, Brutus thinks of him as highly then all the rest and interrupts people rudely when they talk whilst Antony is so much more polite. Brutus likes to stay conservative and quiet whilst Antony enjoys partying and having lots of fun. In Cassius and Brutus's first conversation, Brutus says to Cassius 'I am not gamesome: I do lack some part Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.'
This opinion is made visible in Cassius's soliloquy after he persuaded Brutus to join the conspiracy and he said 'If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, He should not humor me.' Cassius thinks that Brutus should not be so easily influenced but he is and that also suggests that he is easily manipulated. Antony on the other hand is loyal as he says to Caesar in their first conversation, 'When Caesar says, 'Do this', it shall be perform'd.' this demonstrates his complete devotion. Brutus is a powerful character, whose decisions have value whereas Antony is not very strong without Caesar's help. When the conspirators all meet with Brutus in his home, Brutus makes the final decision two times without really taking into consideration the opinions of the rest of the conspirators and his decision did end up being final. The first was when Cassius suggested they make an oath and Brutus said 'No, not an oath!' He didn't want them to make an oath as they are all honorable men and so don't need an oath to follow through something, only the weak men need to make oaths to stay committed.
Brutus is rude and inconsiderate of people as when people are talking, he cuts them off half way. When Cassius was responding to what Brutus said about Antony, Brutus cut him off half way, as he didn't want Cassius to argue against him so Brutus said 'Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.' When Cassius says that, it sounds like he is slightly arrogant. This arrogance is also seen when Brutus says 'Brutus had rather be a villager Than to repute himself a son of Rome Under these hard conditions.' This line suggests that he cannot stand being under the power of someone else and never wants to be ruled. However, Antony is rather respectful and when he addressed Caesar the first time, he said 'Caesar, my lord' even though Caesar is not king or anything yet. After all the above comparisons made, we can conclude that Shakespeare presents the two characters as complete opposites. Brutus is conservative, disloyal, powerful and rude. Antony enjoys partying and is loyal. He is not powerful and but he is respectful. This combination of characters is interesting as they come against each other when giving a speech at Caesar's funeral and they end up attracting the audiences' attention in different ways.
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