In Roman history, some elite men held certain values that they felt strong enough to take their life in order to defend it. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, there are certain characters portrayed to show how a person’s values or ideas can change their behavior and influence some significant decisions. The protagonist of the play, Marcus Brutus, supports this thought by having an idealistic view on the world and by showing his patriotism toward Rome. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Shakespeare uses Brutus as an honorable, idealistic man in order to show the depth that a high-class Roman man will go through in order to defend his honor. If a person truly can define himself as an honorable man, all, if not many of his actions and decisions will be consistent with their honor. Marcus Brutus is put in a situation where he and a group of conspirators are asked to take an oath in order to stay truthful to their decision to kill Julius Caesar. Cassius, Brutus’s brother-in-law, says to the conspirators, “And let us swear our resolution” (2.1.124). Cassius feels that the group needs to all take an oath so that no man would seem loyal enough not to take revenge against themselves. Brutus does not feel the same way that Cassius does and shows it by saying, No, not an oath. If not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse-
If these be motives weak, break off bedtimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed (2.1.125-128).
Brutus clearly uses his idealism to think that every man is honorable enough to not go back on a decision they make even if they do not take the oath that Cassius feels is necessary.
Furthermore, the honorable decisions of men can later backfire against him. As the conspirators plot in opposition to Caesar, the question comes up about whether or not to kill some of Caesar’s loyal followers alongside him. As Cassius says during the conspirator’s meeting,
If he improve them, may...