Philo’s criticism of Mark Antony establishes a precedent that is seen throughout the entirety of the play and through this, the audience is made aware that the clash between duty and desire is most prevalent in the character of Mark Antony. Shakespeare’s presentation of this feud is more concerned with the tension itself, rather than one.
In Mark Antony's funeral oration for Caesar, we have not only one of Shakespeare's most recognizable opening lines but one of his finest examples of rhetorical irony at work. The speech could serve as a thematic synopsis to Julius Caesar. Perhaps more than any other of Shakespeare's works, Julius Caesar is a play that hinges upon rhetoric.