- Jun 2017
This is a slight unmeritable man, Meet to be sent on errands: is it fit, The three-fold world divided, he should stand One of the three to share it?
This concise quote explains Mark Antony's opinion on Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. He believes that the patrician "is a slight unmeritable man, meet to be sent on errands". Antony does not consider Lepidus to be of much importance, to such an extent that he questions Octavius if "the three-fold world divided, he should stand one of the three to share it?"
First and foremost, the audience is again presented with the cruel, ruthless persona of Mark Antony. His confidence and arrogance supposedly puts himself above others, and Antony's actions are only motivated by his selfish interests.
Mark Antony disregards Lepidus' importance in the upcoming campaign. In fact, he views him as a lowly errand-boy rather than an acquaintance and an equal. Antonius is not afraid to speak his mind to Octavius, believing that Lepidus does not deserve an place in their coalition.
This quote also hints to what the world is like after the events of the play. Mark Antony, Octavius and Lepidus plan to divide the Roman Empire in three sections. This alludes to the Second Triumvirate of 43 B.C to 33 B.C.
It is interesting that Mark Antony, a self-absorbed character with a selfish lust for power, is willing to share his authority with two other men that would be considered his equals.
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine How to cut off some charge in legacies.
Mark Antony's speech at the Senate House in Act III Scene II appealed to the values and emotions of the Roman public to ignite a rebellion against the conspirators. A key element of his rhetoric centred on Julius Caesar's will; seventy-five drachmas were to be issued to each citizen. It was the generosity of Caesar that Mark Antony used to persuade a mutiny.
Ironically, in the privacy of his home, Antony commands Lepidus to "fetch the will" to "determine how to cut off some charge in legacies." He wants to realise the funds in Caesar's will to raise and army against Brutus and Cassius.
Here Antony is presented as manipulative and avaricious, which contrasts the loyal Tribune the audience was first introduced to. His ascension was made possible by offering to honor Caesar's will, a promise which he obviously has no intention in fulfilling.
From his speech in the Capitol to the end of the play, Mark Antony is confident, ambitious, successful and ruthless. He displays no concern for the Roman citizens as they suffer in the civil upheaval, he is willing to execute a nephew instead of argue for his life, and he only upholds the bare minimum of Caesar's legacy to maintain totalitarian control over the Roman Empire.
Fled to his house amazed. Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run, As it were doomsday.
The discussion at Brutus' home in Act II Scene I revealed that there was much fear surrounding Antonius' reaction to Caesar's death. Trebonius was the only conspirator to agree with Brutus that Mark Antony did not pose a threat, instead remarking that '"There is no fear in him; let him not die; For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter." However, this act of compassion would eventually lead to the conspirators' downfall.
Therefore, Trebonius' conspiratorial role was to lure Mark Antony away from the Senate House while Caesar's assassination was taking place. Consequently, he was the only conspirator that did not stab Caesar.
As witnessed by Trebonius, Mark Antony "fled to his house amazed" in response to Julius Caesar's death. This indicates the strong relationship between the two Romans, and foreshadows the ardent vengeance that Antony is to develop.
Furthermore, Trebonius recalls that "Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run, as it were doomsday." The comparison between the assassination and Armageddon reinforce the idea that the conspirators were not acting in the interests of the general public, but instead in the interests of themselves and their own envy.