Both Paul Baumer of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front and Brutus of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar are innocent and trusting when introduced to the reader, but after experiencing indescribable pain, both become realistic stoics without hope for a better life. Both characters' naiveté leads them to make a fatal error. Because of their mistakes, Paul and Brutus suffer horrifying experiences and must do things that they later regret. The trauma that they must live through leads both characters to follow a stoic philosophy. The major difference between Paul and Brutus is their motivation and feelings on patriotism.
At the beginning of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul trusts Kantorek, his misleading schoolteacher, who talks of a romantic and patriotic war, which in reality does not exist. Likewise, in the beginning of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus trusts devious Cassius, who claims that Rome is threatened by Caesar's ambition. Just as Kantorek convinces Paul to enlist in the German army, Cassius persuades Brutus to join the conspiracy to kill Caesar. Both Paul and Brutus trust blindly, allowing them to be influenced to make the greatest mistake of their lives.
The mistakes that Paul and Brutus make force them to live through terrible experiences and do things against their beliefs, which they later regret. By the end of the narratives, both have become inured to suffering. This leads the two characters to follow the philosophy of stoicism, and show very little emotion. Because of what they have seen and done, both Paul and Brutus have become indifferent to pleasure and pain.
Despite their many similarities, Paul and Brutus differ greatly in their feelings toward their country. Brutus is patriotic and loves Rome; he is also very concerned with the romantic ideal of honor. Despite Brutus' love for Caesar, his love for his country is stronger, and he murders him for honor and love of Rome. Paul sees no purpose in the war...
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