Brutus Character Sketch

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Augustus Pages: 3 (1169 words) Published: October 8, 1999
"Et tu Brute?" Caesar's simple statement sums up Brutus' round character in the development of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Brutus was thought no threat and an ingenious right-hand man 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 outline 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 apparent in his orations. After the assassination of Caesar and during the funeral speech, Brutus asks the people of Rome, "Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him I have offended" (act III, sc ii, ln 29-32). This in Brutus proves he is noble as he cares and protects the welfare of the people and Rome as a whole. He is torn between his sense of duty with Rome and his friendship with Caesar. In the end; however, he must rationalize his actions to save face and conform to both sides of his conflict. Furthermore, Brutus tries to prove his nobility to virtually everyone. When Brutus utters his last words, he tells Caesar his intentions, "I killed thee with half so good a will" (act V, sc v, ln 50-51). His honor is always persistent and never fails to prevail at even the most taxing and awkward situation. Brutus considers his honor in every aspect and choice in his life and often rules over his own accord. Accordingly, many people, including his enemies, were very much aware of his honor. When he witnesses Brutus' dead body at the battleground of Philipi, Antony states he is the "noblest Roman of them all" and "all the conspirators save only he, did that they did in envy of great Caesar; he, only in a general honest…" (act V, sc v, ln 68-71)....
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