Julius Caesar - David Scott Kastan, Andrew Hadfield, William Shakespeare Cassius connives, Antony persuades and Caesar dies. But Brutus is the tragic figure in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. A noble soul led astray because his own self-righteousness blinds him to the world as it is, not as he dreams it to be. His self-appointed role as steward for the Republic gives himself license to betray and murder for the sake of the people. What he doesn’t foresee is that the people don’t want the protection of a noble murderer, they would rather have a despot that appears noble.

Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech is worthily the best speech in the play. The psychological manipulation is masterful and reveals a side of Antony that foreshadows the skillful adversary he will become. But it should not eclipse the other great parts of the play. Prior to his assassination, Caesar makes an astute observation about Cassius to Antony- one seemingly appropriate for a Goodreads review:
He reads much,
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony. He hears no music.
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at anything.
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous. (Act 1, Scene 2, lns 205-212).