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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: January ::
Understanding Antony
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0064  Monday, 29 January 2007

From: 		Louis Swilley <
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Date: 		Monday, 29 Jan 2007 08:29:00 -0600
Subject: 	How should we understand Antony in "Julius Caesar"?

Does Antony see Caesar as Shakespeare has shown him to us, a pompous, 
power-greedy person? If he does, how can we account for Antony's 
praising soliloquy over the corpse? (Does Antony admire Caesar and 
lament his death as a Mafioso might admire a murdered, murderous 
godfather?) If he doesn't, should we assume that the practical, 
hard-nosed Antony ("This many then shall die, etc.") has awakened to the 
*real* Caesar sometime between his lament for the dead Caesar he has 
mistakenly respected and his later, heartless capitalizing on the power 
vacuum Caesar's death has created? If we say that Antony has admired 
Caesar but at some time sees him what he was, at what point in the 
Antony's speeches could his "awakening" be made clear? (The problem is 
particularly critical for the director of the play and the actor who is 
to play Antony.)

L. Swilley

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