Despite the reckless picture we receive of him, Antony is typically viewed as a tragic hero, and his standing as a tragic hero is strengthened by others' portrayals of him, as well as the lyrical style of the characters' discourse. For instance, when Enobarbus stated that he was "nobler than my outcome is infamous." (III.i.88), he was not making a claim without evidence but was merely echoing the thoughts of those who saw Antony as a tragic figure.
Furthermore, the characters themselves refer to him as such: Cleopatra calls him her "tragic hero" (I.ii.19), while her brother Caesar describes him as such (II.iv.44). Even Antony himself refers to himself as a "tragic actor" in his own play (IV.xiii.14).
In addition, the use of language is also important in showing us why Antony is considered a tragic hero. For example, when discussing the futility of life, both he and Cleopatra cry out "Tragedy! What can tragedy do against such times?" (I.ii.80). This shows that they see Antony's death as inevitable despite their attempts to prevent it. Also, when describing how he will be remembered after his death, Antony says "Not what I was, but what men thought me,/ Is left behind me; and that is sorrow" (V.v.27-28).
Antony's defect and terrible demise Antony's terrible weakness is his desire to be a part of these two contrasting, and at times competing, worlds; he wants to keep his authority and reputation inside Rome as a fierce soldier and brilliant leader, but he also wants to enjoy a carefree life with Cleopatra. This defect causes him to make poor decisions that lead to his ultimate downfall.
Rome has no king or emperor at the time of Antony's ascent to power. However, this does not mean that he can act like one and try to rule over both Egypt and Rome. His role as commander of Roman forces in Asia Minor requires him to maintain control over his army and not let them influence politics at home. He cannot do this if he allows them to believe that they are equal partners in government with himself. This shows that Antony has a defect of ambition that leads him to want to dominate both Egypt and Rome.
In addition to this, he also lacks discipline and commitment. As long as there is no threat from Caesar, then Antony will continue to lead his own army campaigns and spend their money on parties and affairs of the heart. All of this shows that he is not fit to rule and cannot meet the demands of being a great leader.
After Antony loses his battle against Caesar, he tries to escape back to Egypt, but it is too late. His defect of ambition proves to be his downfall.
In the play, he is not often viewed as a tragic hero. Brutus is certainly a tragic hero, and others argue that Caesar is a tragic hero as well, but Antony does not appear to fit the position as Shakespeare defined it. However, it can be argued that by the end of the play, everyone who has taken up arms against Caesar has been killed off, including Antony. Thus, Antony has achieved his goal of ending civil war and establishing peace between Caesar's followers and their enemies.
Furthermore, after Antony kills himself, Shakespeare writes: "All's well that ends well". This statement could be interpreted as meaning that even though everything does not turn out well for Antony, since Caesar was defeated and died too, then "all is well" anyway. In this case, Antony would be considered a successful tragic hero.
Some critics believe that Mark Antony serves as a cautionary tale for those who challenge the throne. They say that like Antony, anyone who opposes a ruler can cause great destruction to come upon themselves if they are not careful.
Others see him as a hero who dies for love. They note that he is willing to sacrifice everything, including his life, for love. Thus, he is seen as a true romantic hero.
A tragic hero is found in numerous of Shakespeare's plays; a heroic figure with a personality fault that leads to his own destruction. In Julius Caesar's Tragedy, who is the genuine tragic hero? Marcus Brutus is often regarded as the tragic hero. He is a noble Roman who sees through the corrupt ways of the Senate and decides to kill him when he finds out that he has been made king. However, he fails in his attempt and ends up being killed by Cassius, another noble Roman who believes the same thing as Brutus but does not have the courage to act on it. Thus, both men were tragic heroes but only one of them survived to see his dream come true.
In addition to Brutus and Caesar, other characters also find success in their attempts to change the government but fail because they lack the willpower to go through with it. For example, Mark Antony tries to persuade Caesar to live after he wins the battle of Pharsalus but fails because he runs away from battle. Likewise, Lucius Cary/Woodstock tries to convince Cromwell not to execute him but fails because he is already dead. Finally, Horatio tries to convince Brutus that Caesar must be killed but fails because he cannot bring himself to believe that his friend has turned into a villain. Thus, all these characters were tragic heroes but only some of them survived to see their dreams come true.
Antony's terrible weakness is his desire to be a part of these two contrasting, and at times competing, worlds; he wants to keep his authority and reputation inside Rome as a fierce soldier and brilliant leader, but he also wants to enjoy a carefree life with Cleopatra. This dual nature of his leads to many problems for him later on.
As well as being unable to give up his dreams of conquering Egypt, Antony is also careless with his own life. He constantly puts himself in dangerous situations looking for battle or other opportunities to win fame and honor. On one occasion, he even goes ahead with a suicidal plan against Marcus Brutus because it would make a better story if he died fighting.
This is why Antony ends up losing both wars. In the first place, he fails to capture Egypt because it isn't just his ambition that has led him to want to conquer this country, but also Cleopatra's. Once they realize that there is no way they can outmaneuver each other, they decide to make a deal with Octavian: if he will allow them to retain their power then they will help him defeat Antony. So, when Antony returns from war he finds out that not only has Cleopatra betrayed him, but that she has also married him out from under him!
The second problem arises because Antony acts without thinking through all the consequences of his actions.
Marc Antony states in his oration that he has come to "bury Caesar, not to glorify him," which means that he has come to put an end to talk of Caesar's ambitions and tyranny. Antony informs the Romans that the honourable Brutus believes Caesar was ambitious, a fundamental weakness for which he suffered dearly. But most of all, Antony declares that Caesar died as a human being, not as a god, which means that he asked to be killed rather than suffer humiliation.
This last point is one that has often been made about Caesar. Although it was he who started the process that led to his own assassination, there are many who see him as a victim, too. His death was never really intended but came about through chance after he had gone beyond any hope of recovery from his injuries. This seems particularly relevant when you consider that he was never meant to live this long: he was supposed to have been killed at Pharsalus, either by Pompey or Cato, but both men were severely wounded and therefore could not kill him. It was only later that Mark Antony took revenge for his friend's murder.
In conclusion, the oration says that Caesar was mortal, which means that he was not invincible like Apollo. He was blind with ambition, which caused him to want to rule everything; and he was greedy, which is why they gave him so much money to keep him happy. However, he was also good and noble and did many great things which make him worth remembering.