Essay, Research Paper
Character Analysis of Brutus in Julius Ceasar
William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, is mainly based on the assassination of Julius Caesar. The character who was in charge of the assassination was, ironically, Marcus Brutus, a friend to Julius Caesar. What would cause a person to kill a close friend? After examining Brutus’ relationship to Caesar, his involvement in the conspiracy, and his importance to the plot, the truth can be revealed.
Marcus Brutus, a close friend to Caesar, has a strong relationship with Caesar, but a stronger relationship with Rome and its people. Brutus is very patriotic. He did not want Ceasar to rule Rome because of the fear of what might happen if Ceasar takes the thrown. “What means this shouting? I do fear the people do choose Caesar for their king” (act 1, i 1, l 185). Brutus says to himself, “That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder, Whereto the climber-upward turns his face. But when he once attains the upmost round, He then unto the ladder turns his back, Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend. So Ceasar may.” (Act 2, i 1, ll 23-27) As the quotation says, Brutus would not allow Caesar to rise to power and then turn his back onto the people of Rome. Brutus love of Rome is very strong and deep in his heart. As Brutus is talking to Cassius, Brutus say, “Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this, Brutus had rather be a villager then to repute himself a son of Rome” (act 1, i 2, ll 171-175) After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus talks to Antony about Caesar’s death. “Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful; and pity to the general wrong of Rome” (act 3, i 1, ll 185-186) Again, this shows how Brutus loved Caesar but cared for the life of Rome and its people more. Brutus also states, “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Ceasar, this is my answer, not that I loved Ceasar less, but that I loved Rome more.” (Act 3, i 2, ll 21-24) Brutus would do anything for his country Rome.
Marcus Brutus was a very influential person in Rome. Brutus was a powerful and respected individual in Rome. Cassius tells Brutus, “Yes, every man of them, and no man here but honors you, and every one doth wish you had but that opinion of yourself which every noble Roman bears of you” (act 2, i 1, ll 89-93).Brutus had a very important role in the conspiracy against Caesar. He was the “back-bone” of the plan. According to Cassius, Brutus’ main purpose in the conspiracy is for an insurance policy. The people will think, since Brutus is noble to Caesar, that there is a good reason for Caesar’s assassination. Brutus will also be the leader of the conspiracy for another “insurance policy” for the assassination. Cassius is the one who declares this, “Brutus shall lead the way, and we will grace his heels with the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.” (Act 3, scene 1, ll.135-136.) Again, if Brutus leads the way, the people will think that the death of Julius Caesar was not such a bad thing. When discussing the joining of Cicero into the conspiracy, Brutus says, “Oh name him not. Let us not break with him, For he will never follow anything” (act 2, i 1, ll 150-151).
Brutus believed honor is important in one’s life. Brutus prided himself on being honorable. Brutus tells Cassius, “Set honor in one and death I’ the other, and I will look on indifferently, for let the gods so speed me as I love the name of honor more then I fear death.” (Act 1, i 2, ll 86-89) During a conspiracy meeting, all the conspirators decided to take an oath not to tell on what they spoke. Brutus says there is no need for an oath, “No not an oath. If not the face of men, the sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse- if these motives be weak, break off be times.” (Act 2, i 1, ll 114-116) Brutus, being an honorable man, felt that honor should keep you from spreading important business, not an oath. Ceasar knew that Brutus was an honorable man, Ceasar and Brutus many times during the play. Ceasar feels that Brutus is noble and does the right thing regardless of personal danger. Brutus stabs Ceasar, he says, “Et tu, Brute?”(Act 3, i 1, l 85). Ceasar cannot believe Brutus is on the plot to kill him. Ceasar realizes that there must be a noble reason for this murder if Brutus was in it. Antony speaks about Brutus after his suicide saying, “This was the noblest Roman of them all. All conspirators, save only he, did that they did in envy of great Caesar. He only, in a general honest thought and common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, “This was a man.” (Act 5, i 5, ll 68-75) For Antony to make these remarks after Brutus took part in the killing of Ceasar, Antony’s friend, this shows that Brutus was honorable.
If Brutus was not in the plot of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the conspiracy would probably not have worked. Since Brutus “…loved Rome more.”(Act 3,scene2, ll.23-24), he decided to be a part of the conspiracy. If he had not loved Rome more than Caesar, he would not have joined in the assassination of Julius Caesar. Cassius and the rest of the conspirators would probably not have continued on without Brutus because they would have no “insurance” afterwards. The people would think that there was no reason for Caesar’s death and most likely killed the conspirators without a second guess, regardless of any speeches given. Also, if Brutus was not in the play, the whole end of the play would not ever occur. Brutus would not be there to have an army or kill himself, and Cassius would be an important person in the play. If Brutus was not in the play, the title would have absolutely no meaning. There would be no tragedy, it would had been a massacre. Marcus Brutus was a good friend to Julius Caesar, but not good enough. He had moral values dealing with Rome and its people. Brutus’ values then made him join a conspiracy against Caesar put together by Cassius. Brutus joined this mainly because he did not want Caesar to turn his back on Rome so there would be a reasonable reason for killing Caesar. If Brutus was not in the play, there would be no “Tragedy” in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.