top-rated free essay

Brutus' Conflict Between Honor and Responicibility

Mar 19, 2000 753 Words
A Paper On Brutus' Conflict Between
Passion and Responsibility

Throughout the play "Julius Caesar," by William Shakespeare, Brutus is torn between passion and responsibility. There are three very good examples of this, the first being, obviously, Brutus' mental conflict dealing with the conspiracy surrounding Caesar's assassination. Less obvious number two, the conflict between himself and Cassius, dealing with Cassius less than noble hoarding of money. And last of all third, Brutus' argument with the rest of the conspirators to let Antony live.

The conflicts brought about in "Julius Caesar" are incredibly complex. To understand even the very basic conflict between Brutus and his thoughts surrounding Caesar's death takes a small amount of background knowledge. Know that Brutus and Caesar have been friends for a long time before this play takes place. And Brutus has a great loyalty to his mother country, Rome. The last piece of information you need to work out this whole mess, is that Brutus, with good reason, thinks that Caesar will hurt Rome if he becomes its dictator. And unless someone kills him, Caesar will become dictator. With that information, you must realize the problem presented before Brutus. Be responsible, towards the people of Rome, and assassinate Caesar, or be passionate, in accordance to his friendship with the monarch, and choose not to kill Julius. In the same way that Brutus' responsible mind make's him kill Caesar, Brutus' mind make's him argue with Cassius, because of Cassius' immorality. He chooses to argue with Cassius, instead of ignoring the situation, because the responsibility of keeping people moral outweighs the passion of keeping good relations with Cassius. In the third example of Brutus' conflict, he again chooses responsibility over passion. Brutus acts responsible by telling the other conspirators that Antony will have no power when Caesar's dead. Brutus does not take the passionate road. The road that leads to the murder of Antony, because if it is good for Rome to have Caesar killer, then killing Antony and Caesar will be twice as good for Rome.

There are some very obvious effects that this conflict has with Brutus' life. Of course this conflict makes him part of the conspiracy, because that's what this whole controversy is all about. This conflict also ultimately ended Brutus' life. As for the other obvious effects there aren't any. Look deeper and one might find that underlying motif in this work is that men are generally devious, scheming, and backstabbing. All the examples that I've brought up in some way show this. In case you didn't know, the conspirators (I'm going to use conspirators for all the men involved with Caesar's conspiracy excluding Brutus, because he was unlike the rest of the conspirators. Brutus killed Caesar because he simply thought it the right thing to do) killed Caesar for self-benefit; men are backstabbing. Cassius was taking bribes and raising money in other less than honest fashion; men are devious. The conspirators wanted to kill Antony; men are scheming. I really don't think Brutus wanted to believe this. Brutus' naïveté really made an appearance in these examples. He didn't want to believe that people were generally bad. But these experiences showed him that he was a better person than most, and that large amounts of other people are…evil.

All these conflicts are very significant to the work, just based on sheer bulk alone. I must again bring up, what I think is, the underlying moral to this story; people are evil. This string of conflicts makes up this theme of "Julius Caesar." These conflicts affect the play more than, in my opinion, anything else, and underlines a topic that people don't like to bring up. Another thing that affects this play is that in all these conflicts Brutus again and again chooses responsibility over passion. Is Shakespeare trying to say that being responsible is better than being passionate? You got me, but this is affecting the play, because there is one more question that is posed to the reader of "Julius Caesar".

Brutus' inner conflict between responsibility and passion is the defining point in this work. It encompasses almost every conflict in this play. Brutus chooses responsibility over passion, because in most cases choosing to act responsibly (which I have underlined for you to state the importance of it) is far more honorable, noble, and moral than deciding to act on one's passion. And Brutus was an honorable man.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Julius Caesar- Honor of Brutus

    ...The Honor of an Important Roman Man 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 decisi...

    Read More
  • Relationship between Brutus and Cassius

    ...Relationship between Brutus and Cassius The personalities of Brutus and Cassius differ significantly, which causes them to have a corrupt relationship. Brutus is an honest, truthful man. He is also shown to be naïve when he allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. He has a passion for the prosperity of Rome, and believes that Caesar will ...

    Read More
  • Comparison Between Antony and Brutus

    ...He delivered a speech that convinced the Romans that the murder was unjust, invoking their rebellion. Brutus, leader of the conspiracy, gave a good address, but the Romans didn't react to it as much as they did for Antony's. A battle erupted, and most of the conspirators committed suicide. The styles of the two speeches were very different from ...

    Read More
  • brutus

    ...Brutus emerges as the most complex character in Julius Caesar and is also the play’s tragic hero. In his soliloquies, the audience gains insight into the complexities of his motives. He is a powerful public figure, but he appears also as a husband, a master to his servants, a dignified military leader, and a loving friend. The conflicting valu...

    Read More
  • Julius Caesar: Brutus' mistakes

    ...Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, the main character Brutus made several errors in judgment. His many aberrations led to his own death. The first and most basic fault by Brutus was allowing himself to become involved with the conspirators. The second was allowing Mark Antony to live and then permitting him to speak at Caesar’s funeral. The third f...

    Read More
  • comparison between brutus and antony speech

    ...In a classic Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, Antony and Brutus go toe-to-toe at Caesar’s funeral, although, to Brutus’ dismay Antony’s speech was better than his. Marcus Brutus makes his speech very formally to reason the mob for killing Caesar. Brutus appeals to the people's minds and leaves an impression that Caesar would have becom...

    Read More
  • Cady and Brutus

    ...Cady and Brutus Brutus and Cady emerge as the most complex characters in Julius Caesar and Mean Girls respectively. They are each stories tragic heroes. In each of their soliloquies, the audience gains insight into the complexities of their motives. Brutus is a powerful public figure, but he appears also as a husband, a master to his servant...

    Read More
  • Brutus: an Honorable Man

    ...“Well Brutus you are noble, but I can tell that honorable qualities can be given in a new direction.” – Cassius. This quote spoken by Cassius shows his need to get Brutus to be part of the conspirators. This quote also reveals that many people adore Brutus and that he is a honorable man. The play “Julius Caesar” was written by William ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.