Who would be a Better Leader, Brutus or Antony?

By David Villari

    Brutus and Antony have a lot of power already in
Roman society, but who would make a better leader? The
answer to this depends the qualities of Brutus and
Antony and how you feel Rome should be ruled.
    I believe that Marcus Brutus would make a better
leader than Mark Antony. Obviously, someone who has
Roman citizens’ best interests in mind should rule
Rome. A civilization is nothing without its people,
and behind each civilization is a leader. The leader
should reflect the people. Mark Antony is a
manipulative person, and because of this
characteristic he is able to convince the people of
Rome that the conspirators were wrong in the murder of
Caesar. To do this, he used bribes, saying that Caesar
left something for them in his will. When Antony said,
“ Have patience, gentle friends. I must not read it./
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you” (Julius
Caesar, by William Shakespeare, act 3, scene 2, lines
152-153), we see how cunning Antony is. This is
Antony’s way of manipulating us and our desire for
wealth. This caused us Romans to turn against the
conspirators who killed the man who loved us. Antony
did this even though Brutus gave us the logical
reasons for murdering Caesar. Do you want a leader who
knows how to manipulate you so easily? I sure don’t.
    On the other side of the spectrum, we have a man who
acted in the conspiracy because he thought it was best
for Rome. This man is Marcus Brutus. Brutus’s actions
were swift in the assassination of Julius Caesar. It
would seem that he was acting with one thing in mind:
Rome. Brutus said, “If then that friend/ demand why
Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my/ answer: not
that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved/ Rome more”
(Act 3, scene 2, lines 21-24). This shows us that
Brutus cared that Caesar was possibly leading Rome in
the wrong direction.
    From this point it may seem that Brutus would be a
better leader than Antony, but every person has
weaknesses. In Brutus, it is the fact that he is
overly trusting of the people around him. After the
assassination of Caesar, Cassius thought that they
should also kill Antony because he could turn the
Romans against the conspirators. Brutus rejected this
idea and decided to trust Antony. He said to Antony, “
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us but
speak all good you can devise of Caesar . . .”  (Act
3, scene 1, lines 270-271). This shows that Brutus was
trusting Antony even though he didn’t know him well.
This overly trusting attitude backfired for Brutus
when Antony convinced the Romans that Brutus was wrong
in murdering Caesar.
    It would seem that Brutus is very loyal to Rome, yet
overly trusting. It would also seem that Antony is
convincing, yet power hungry. I stand in favor of
Brutus in this case. Now all that’s left to decide is,
where do you stand?