Octavius Caesar, history’s Augustus, is one of the triumvirs (three leaders) of Rome.
He disapproves of everything Antony stands for; he himself is a puritanical, rigid man, and he cannot stomach the loss of control that Antony’s actions betoken. He calls on Antony when he needs military help against Pompey’s insurrection, and to seal the bargain gives his sister in marriage to Antony. He is extremely fond of his sister, and becomes enraged when Antony abandons her. Over the course of the play he develops from a somewhat callow youth to the ruler of the known world, preceded by guards announcing his arrival. He is not above trickery, and is ready to lie to get Cleopatra under his control. He also has Lepidus done away with on apparently spurious grounds, and does not seem overly concerned with keeping his word if it gets in his way. When going into battle against Antony, he orders that those who have deserted Antony should fight in the front line. He is ruthless, and stands in contrast to the heroic Antony, who is a leftover from another age. His age at times works against him: Antony has a tendency to refer to him as the “boy Caesar.” He is the same as the Octavius Caesar of Julius Caesar.