Julius Caesar Essay: The Character of Brutus
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The Character of Brutus in Julius Caesar
“Et tu Brute?” Caesar’s simple statement sums up Brutus’ round character in the development of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Brutus was thought to represent no threat due to his nobility and his loyalty; however, these qualities are precisely why the story is such a catastrophe. What stemmed from these traits is the last expected outcome. Caesar’s surprise was so immense, he could only mutter these last few words. Brutus’ honorable nobility, his loyal patriotism, and his naïve and idealistic manner define Shakespeare’s tragic hero.
Honor is an underlying foundation of Brutus and can be clearly seen during the play’s dramatic speeches. Brutus himself makes his honor…show more content…
Brutus’ honor is so strong and visible even his enemies witnessed his astonishing nobility. Antony knows Brutus would only do such an act with true vindication, although the other conspirators, while still noble, would not hold true to the high standard Brutus’ created. Brutus’ nobility was clarified with his speeches and made easily seen due to others awareness of this strong support of his character.
Also unmistakably obvious is Brutus’ loyal patriotism to his country. Brutus knows his own loyalty and values it above almost anything. Brutus illustrates his great patriotism by comparing it with death, “If it aught toward the general good, Set honor in one eye and death i’th’ other…as I love the name of honor more than I fear death”(act I, sc ii, ln 85,86,89). Brutus values Rome above anything else and would be willing to give his life for the “general good.” Brutus claims he will be loyal to the end, due to his great love for Rome. Likewise, Brutus’ patriotism covers every aspect of society. Brutus discusses the killing of Caesar with his fellow conspirators and claims Caesar’s “death is a benefit”and also says they now should cry “Peace, freedom, and liberty!"(act III, sc i, ln 103,110). Brutus wishes to celebrate all of Rome’s triumphs and is especially
Read an in-depth analysis of Brutus.
Read an in-depth analysis of Julius Caesar.
Read an in-depth analysis of Antony.
Cassius - A talented general and longtime acquaintance of Caesar. Cassius dislikes the fact that Caesar has become godlike in the eyes of the Romans. He slyly leads Brutus to believe that Caesar has become too powerful and must die, finally converting Brutus to his cause by sending him forged letters claiming that the Roman people support the death of Caesar. Impulsive and unscrupulous, Cassius harbors no illusions about the way the political world works. A shrewd opportunist, he proves successful but lacks integrity.
Octavius - Caesar’s adopted son and appointed successor. Octavius, who had been traveling abroad, returns after Caesar’s death; he then joins with Antony and sets off to fight Cassius and Brutus. Antony tries to control Octavius’s movements, but Octavius follows his adopted father’s example and emerges as the authoritative figure, paving the way for his eventual seizure of the reins of Roman government.
Casca - A public figure opposed to Caesar’s rise to power. Casca relates to Cassius and Brutus how Antony offered the crown to Caesar three times and how each time Caesar declined it. He believes, however, that Caesar is the consummate actor, lulling the populace into believing that he has no personal ambition.
Portia - Brutus’s wife; the daughter of a noble Roman who took sides against Caesar. Portia, accustomed to being Brutus’s confidante, is upset to find him so reluctant to speak his mind when she finds him troubled. Brutus later hears that Portia has killed herself out of grief that Antony and Octavius have become so powerful.
Flavius - A tribune (an official elected by the people to protect their rights). Flavius condemns the plebeians for their fickleness in cheering Caesar, when once they cheered for Caesar’s enemy Pompey. Flavius is punished along with Murellus for removing the decorations from Caesar’s statues during Caesar’s triumphal parade.
Cicero - A Roman senator renowned for his oratorical skill. Cicero speaks at Caesar’s triumphal parade. He later dies at the order of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus.
Lepidus - The third member of Antony and Octavius’s coalition. Though Antony has a low opinion of Lepidus, Octavius trusts his loyalty.
Murellus - Like Flavius, a tribune who condemns the plebeians for their fickleness in cheering Caesar, when once they cheered for Caesar’s enemy Pompey. Murellus and Flavius are punished for removing the decorations from Caesar’s statues during Caesar’s triumphal parade.
Decius - A member of the conspiracy. Decius convinces Caesar that Calpurnia misinterpreted her dire nightmares and that, in fact, no danger awaits him at the Senate. Decius leads Caesar right into the hands of the conspirators.