Brutus's Conflict between Honor and Responsibility

Topics: Roman Republic, Love, Augustus Pages: 4 (996 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Critically comment about Brutus failure to keep a balance between morality or love and honor or values. Support your answer with textual evidence and critical point of view. The play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare sets the stage for an honorable man named Marcus Brutus. His honor is characterized by several traits and actions present throughout the play. Brutus’ love to Rome proves honor by the things he sacrifices for the better of his people and country. His death resulting from guilt and the feeling of having to be with Caesar shows his modesty. In fact, his people, friends, and even enemies also perceive him as a very honorable and courageous Roman. Aspects present in the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, reveals the honor and love that is existent in Brutus which therefore, resulted in his failure for keeping them in balance through Wilson Knight’s article “ The Eroticism of Julius Caesar. Firstly, according to Knight, the reason that leads Brutus’ failure in balancing the love and honor is that he always serve honor in preference to love. For instance, Brutus appears to be a man at war with himself, torn between his love for Caesar and his honorable concern for Rome. The exact expression of it when Cassius asks Brutus if he would not have Caesar made king: I would not Cassius; yet I love him well.

But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honor in one eye and death i’ thee other,
And I will look on both indifferently:
For let the gods so spend me as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death. (Act I Sc. ii)

Moreover, as the play moves on...
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