English 10 5th hour
Julius Caesar Essay
January 18, 2011
Domination with Reason
Descartes once stated that humans were superior to animals due to their ability to reason. Reason – the “universal instrument” – is what allows Man to triumph over nature. While all men are capable of reason, few men possess the ability to use reason to define their roles in society and determine their fates. Marcus Brutus from the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, is one such man. Brutus uses his rationale and logical reasoning to surpass challenges and conflicts throughout the story. Brutus ultimately ends his own life, but not before taking the life of Julius Caesar, the title character of the play. It is this determination of fates that makes Brutus the driving force of the play, and the underlying main character of the story. While Caesar and Brutus are both prominent characters in Julius Caesar, Brutus exhibits superiority over Caesar and influences the outcome of the play, leaving the reader the impression that he is the main character of the play.
In the beginning of the play, both Caesar and Brutus are portrayed as respectable and honorable leaders in the minds of the common people. Caesar’s nobility is best depicted in Antony’s speech, “I shall remember./ When Caesar says ‘Do this,’ it is performed.” (1.2.12-13). Antony, also a high ranking noble, accepts and respects Caesar’s wishes without opposition or hesitation, conveying a high level of trust in Caesar. Similarly, the people of Rome also hold Brutus in high regard. Cassius states that “many of the best respect in Rome…[speak] of Brutus.” (1.2.65-66). Brutus’s reputation is among the most noble in society. After Caesar has been murdered, the people do not turn on Brutus because he commands such high praise. On the contrary, they show even more respect for Brutus. The plebians proclaim that “Caesar’s better parts” are “in Brutus.” (3.2.53-55). This statement illustrates not only...