Julius Caesar Analysis

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Tragic hero Pages: 7 (2669 words) Published: October 19, 2013
Reading Brutus:

Marcus Brutus is by definition, an ‘honourable man’, yet the play Julius Caesar poses the question; how can such an honourable man commit such a dishonourable act as murder? This ambiguity is tracked throughout the play as Brutus, a man who is constantly ‘with himself at war’ (I, ii, 51) attempts to convince himself that he acts ‘for the good of Rome’ (3, ii, 45). But the question is not whether Brutus has managed to convince himself of his nobility, but whether he has managed to convince the audience.

From the very early scenes, the audience is witness to the cogs turning in Brutus’ head as he tries to distinguish appearance from reality, truth from fiction and honour from treason. This conflict is fuelled by the ‘lean and hungry’ (1, ii, 206) Cassius, a master manipulator who knows the importance of honour to Brutus and maliciously plays upon it as he plants the seed of doubt in the mid of Brutus. Brutus SHALL provide the conspirators with the face of honour.

Brutus is wealthy, powerful, a loving husband and Caesar’s best friend, but is he the ‘noblest Roman of them all’ (5, v, 73)?

Manipulated by Cassius, Brutus easily persuades himself of the necessity to kill Caesar for the ‘good of Rome’ (3, ii, 45). Elizabethan values are demonstrated through the idealist, Brutus, who does everything he can to preserve the reputation as an honourable man, even after the assassination of a great leader. Through persuasion and manipulation of words, Brutus creates a veil of honour to hide his misgivings and convince the audience and himself the he is an honourable man.

Continually, Brutus demonstrates his love of his honourable name informing Cassius that he ‘love[s]/ The name of honour, more than [he] fears death’ (1, ii, 98 – 99). Yet Cassius is able to play on Brutus’ personal ambition claiming that ‘Brutus’ will start a spirit as soon as ‘Caesar’” (1, ii, 157).

Julius Caersar - Analysis of Brutus

In the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the character Marcus Brutus fits the definition of the tragic hero. Like other tragic heroes, he had great promise, ability, and integrity of character. He had a tragic flaw. He had a lust for power, and he died at the end of the play. Brutus had great promise, ability, and strength of character. The fact that he could single-handedly take over the group of conspirators, and completely overrule Cassius demonstrates his strength of character, and his influence on others. Brutus's tragic flaw was that he was too trusting. He frankly and honestly felt that he had had to kill Caesar in order to save Rome from tyranny. He trusted Antony not to blame the conspirators in his speech at Caesar's funeral. Antony broke that promise and got Brutus and the others into deep trouble. Brutus also trusted Cassius. Cassius only asked Brutus to be a part of the conspiracy as a way of getting closer to Caesar. He never suspected that Brutus would take over the group and become their leader. Cassius thought that he was getting someone to lead the men, but that he would still be the head man.

Brutus, however, took all power away from Cassius, and Cassius no longer had any say in the happenings of the group. Brutus had a conscience. It was obvious that Brutus felt terrible about Caesar's death, but he felt that it was the only way to keep peace in Rome. When Caesar's ghost came to Brutus, it could have been a real ghost, but it also may have been Brutus's conscience coming back to haunt him. After all, stabbing one's best friend is dishonorable, and Brutus was an honorable man, so anything that he did that was dishonorable was not acknowledged. Brutus did not associate anything dishonorable with himself, and so when he did do something dishonorable, he did not admit it to himself. Brutus died at the end of the play of his own will. "Farewell Strato. Caesar now be still. I killed not thee with half so...
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