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Antony a better Leader than Caesar in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra:

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Antony a better Leader than Caesar in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra:

In Shakespeare?s play 'Antony and Cleopatra' Caesar, while he displays remarkable tactical skills, is calculating and cold hearted. Antony on the other hand embodies many admirable qualities and emotions which make him the greater of the two. Firstly I will look at Caesar?s military victories before examining Antony?s great human qualities.

Looking at Caesar, he is highly successful in his military battles due to his great organisation skills and strategic planning. Caesar values organisation since he receives hourly reports on how matters are abroad (Act I Scene 4 lines 34-36) and keeps detailed accounts of his battles. His logical thought also makes him so successful:

?Strike not by land, keep whole, provoke not battle,

Till we have done at sea? (Act III Scene 8 lines 3-4)

This strategic plan allows Caesar to defeat Antony. Duty is of unmatched importance to Caesar. Caesar condemns Antony for seeking pleasure before duty and he says of himself:

?Doubt not, sir,

I knew it for my bond? (Act I Scene 4 lines 84-85)

So the basis of Caesar?s abundant military victories, also against Antony, are his logical tactics and his sense of duty.

However, Caesar is so determined to succeed and so power hungry that he is willing to hurt and manipulate other people in order to be successful. Caesar is calculating in that he uses Lepidus to defeat Pompey yet then sees to it that Lepdius is deposed as a triumvir so that he can gain more power. Another example of Caesar?s deviousness is:

? Plant those that have revolted in the van,

That Antony may seem to spend his fury

Upon himself.? (Act IV Scene 6 lines 9-11)

Caesar intentionally places...

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...flees the battle, he does not blame Cleopatra but takes responsibility for his own actions and is very ashamed of them:

?I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards

To run and show their shoulders.? (Act III Scene 11 lines 7-8)

It is in particular this characteristic which makes Antony greater than Caesar. Though it would be easy to make another person the culprit, Antony always carries the burden of the blame himself and is truly remorseful of his actions.

In conclusion, Caesar?s arrogant, calculating, unemotional character is opposed to Antony?s forgiving, generous, responsible one. Though Caesar is a great military leader, his success is achieved through deliberate cold-hearted scheming and manipulation of others while Antony displays true nobility through his incomparably great human qualities. Thus, in our minds, Antony is the greater of the two.
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