I do not cross you. But I will do so. (5.1.20)
After Antony orders Octavius to go one direction into battle, Octavius blatantly states that he will go the opposite direction. In response, Antony questions why Octavius defies him. In this quote, Octavius explains that he will not hesitate to go against Antony’s will if necessary. This statement identifies Octavius as a genuine character who will hold true to his own beliefs regardless of the powerful people around him.
You may do your will, But he’s a tried and valiant soldier. (4.1.29)
After Antony describes Lepidus as easy to manipulate and use for their own means, Octavius defends his character by describing Lepidus as an experienced and honorable soldier. By defending Lepidus and not just agreeing with Antony, Octavius shows that he is more honorable than Antony. He stands up to Antony and persuades him to see the positive in Lepidus.
Look, I draw a sword against conspirators. When think you that the sword goes up again? Never, till Caesar’s three and thirty wounds Be well avenged, or till another Caesar Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors. (5.1.51-55)
As the two armies meet before battling at Philippi, Octavius is the first to draw his sword. Octavius then declares that he plans to avenge Caesar’s death in battle. He is clearly impatient with all the talk and is eager for the battle to begin, swearing that he will not put his sword down until Caesar’s death is avenged. Octavius’s words and actions reveal that he believes some power comes from physical action.
All that served Brutus, I will entertain them. —Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me? (5.5.66-67)
After finding out that Brutus has killed himself after losing the battle, characters continue to speak of Brutus as honorable and someone to be respected. In this quote, Octavius quickly displays himself to be forgiving and honorable like Caesar by ending the conflict and inviting all that fought with Brutus to join him as he moves forward to rule Rome.
According to his virtue let us use him, With all respect and rites of burial. Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie Most like a soldier, ordered honorably. So call the field to rest, and let’s away To part the glories of this happy day. (5.5.81-86)
Octavius’s words, the final words spoken in the play, reveal Octavius to be honorable and forgiving. By accepting that Brutus’s intentions were noble, Octavius allows Rome to move forward, giving Brutus a respectful burial and ordering the armies to celebrate. In contrast to Antony’s more cunning behavior, Octavius rises above his ambition, revealing himself to be the best leader for Rome. Ironically, Octavius resembles Caesar in these final moments.