Julius Caesar: Marcus Brutus Essay, Research Paper
Brutus’ tragic flaw was the conflict between his emotions and actions pitted against his Stoic philosophy. The killing of Caesar conflicted with his stoic values. In result of Brutus’ flaw, it led to his tragic death.
Brutus was a stoic, a person who remains calm and self-controlled and appears to be indifferent to pleasure and pain. That was his philosophy. In Act II Scene 1, Cauis says, ” I am not sick if Brutus have in hand/Any exploit worthy the name of honor” (374). In the same scene, Cassius states, “No man here/But honors you; and everyone doth wish/You had but that opinion of yourself/Which every noble Roman bears of you.” Cassius believed that Brutus would have provided an honorable front for his own selfish deeds. Brutus was a man who cared more about the power of Rome than the people of Rome. This is how he justified murdering Caesar. Brutus admitted that he killed for the wrong reasons and the killing was justified. He came across as a moral snob who disliked debate or compromise and always insisted on getting his own way. His pride caused him to dismiss Cicero, a potential rival, even though Cicero was the greatest orator of the times. In his refusal to accept his human limitations, Brutus was as vain and ambitious as Caesar.
Another element to Brutus’ name of stoic was the depth of his emotion of Portia’s death. In his argument with Cassius, Brutus is reduced to a squabbling child. Perhaps he was mad with grief over the death of his wife, as seen in Act III Scene III, ” No man bears sorrow better, Portia is dead” (413). In the end, he took his own life, in violation of his stoic philosophy. “Do so; and not let no man abide this deed but we the doers.” (384) Here in Act III, Brutus appears high-minded, but his principles did not seem to prepare him for dealing with a corrupt world. Despite the honorable thoughts conspirators may have had toward Brutus, he was was plagued with stoicism and loved Rome more than Caesar, which leaded to Caesar’s death.
Lastly, the consequence of failing Stoic philosophy was the death of Brutus. In Act IV, Scene II, Caesar’s ghost haunts Brutus. “Thy evil spirit Brutus.” Caesar’s ghost was a representation of Brutus’ guilt. He realized that he must die for atonement. Again, Caesar tells Brutus, “I come to tell you shall see me in Phillipi.” This was a warning and a realization for Brutus that his ambition and stoic values got the best of him and he can no longer live with the guilt of betraying a friend by murder. Guilt overwhelmed Brutus that led to his fall on the plains of Phillipi
What we know is true and right, we have to keep as our first priority. Brutus was considered a noble man but tragically fell because he betrayed his friendship and did not live up to his Stoic principles.