Literary Essay Sample: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Published: 2022-10-12
Literary Essay Sample: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Shakespeare Character analysis Julius Caesar
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 951 words
8 min read

Brutus is the main character in the tragic play by William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" who conspires against Caesar and conducts a successful assassination of Caesar, only to realize later of the rebellion and chaos caused by his actions in the city he loves. Brutus was regarded as an honorable man who adored the city of Rome, and no other person could think more of that than Caesar. However, the idea of betrayal by Brutus was absurd to Caesar because to him, he regarded Brutus as the son he never had. It is, in this case, the hatred that Brutus had for Caesar and his love for Rome that resulted in the assassination of Caesar because of the fear of Brutus that Caesar would become king. Conversely, if Brutus had hated Caesar, he would have not assassinated Caesar for Rome, but out of resentment and rivalry hence rendering his assassination fierce and horrific. Despite the rebel and chaos caused by the action taken by Brutus of assassinating Caesar, he tries to convince the people how the assassination of Caesar was for the purpose of their freedom.

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The character of Brutus throughout the play can be described as being a controversial man who is honestly concerned about the welfare of the citizens of Rome in the time of Julius Caesar. As a matter of fact, Brutus is regarded as the "noblest Roman of them all" because of his honest incentive to collude against Caesar. Regardless of the noble character together with the positive repute perceived of Brutus across the play, he is also depicted as a rather naive person, who makes some exorbitant decisions all through the play. This character trait of Brutus of being naive is best portrayed in the context which Cassius together with other accomplices take advantage of him because his support is fundamental to their success. His relevance to their plot is enhanced by the fact that he is a respected individual throughout Rome and his support on the assassination of Caesar would influence masses to favor their decision. He also concedes to the fake invitations sent to him by Cassius to participate in the assassination of Caesar. However, he makes a ridiculous decision by allowing Mark Antony to live and testify at Caesar's funeral, an act that in the end turns him against the masses and even other Senators. However, at the end of the play, Brutus again portrays his honorable personality rather than being a captive of Octavious. Generally, Brutus is regarded as noble, unpretentious man who is opposed for the assassination of Julius Caesar and makes several ridiculous decisions which in the end result into his tragic demise.

In this play, Shakespeare conveys significant messages that to societal norms; some of which include the fact that arrogance can cause deadly results. Brutus, who is the main protagonist in the play, is paid for his arrogance together with Cassius and other accomplices. Brutus believed that the collaboration against Caesar needed to elude murdering Mark Antony in order to keep the assassination of Caesar clean. Brutus did not want to be perceived as a butcher in that case he put principle above common sense. However, the decision that Brutus made to avoid killing Mark Antony was a mistake; instead, Brutus assumed that Antony would not cause any trouble therefore even giving him the opportunity to speak at the funeral. However, Antony was as well ambitious and aggressive and desired to revenge the assassination of Caesar. It because of the desire to revenge the death of Caesar that Antony managed to persuade the people of Rome to his side using his fluent funeral speech leaving Brutus in the dust. Eventually, Brutus and Cassius died miserably because of the arrogant manner in which Brutus acted in the battle against the armies of Antony and Octavious.

Consequently, Shakespeare expresses the concept of unforeseen mysterious end results of making costly and ridiculous decisions. Throughout the play, Brutus makes ridiculous decisions without thinking the end results of making such careless decisions some of which he makes with the claim of his love for Rome. The prominent ridiculous decision he makes is the agreement to participate in the assassination of Caesar with the claim that his love for Rome overcame his love for Caesar and he did it for the sake of the people of Rome. He is lured into a deadly trap by Cassius together with the other conspirators because of his honorable position and positive reputation which they needed to win the support of the Romans towards the assassination of Caesar. Brutus takes a step of making the ridiculous decision without thinking and accepting to collude with the conspirators following the fake letters that are sent to him by Cassius. The concept of careless decision making that results in deadly circumstances is also evident in his denial to kill Antony when he decides to stick by his principles rather than using basic knowledge. He says;

"We shall be called purgers, not murderers.

And for Mark Antony, think not of him;

For he can do no more than Caesar's arm

When Caesar's head is off."(Act 2, Scene 1)

He makes this ridiculous decision without a clear projection of what Antony is capable of like leaving him in the dust by making an excellent funeral speech. This makes the sense of the fact that it is usually the part that you do not see coming that knocks you out, a point Brutus does not seem to comprehend in the play.

Work Cited

William Shakespeare. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine with detailed notes from the World's Leading Center for Shakespeare Studies. Updated Edition. The Folger Shakespeare Library, 2011.

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