In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar the character Brutus plays a central role

First, I will list some of the positive things about Brutus. It is clear that he is hugely popular. Casca proves this by saying, “Brutus sits high in all people’s hearts.” He also has a great honour, which is extremely important to him. This is made clear when he says, “I love/ the name of honour more than I fear death”. This could either mean that he means it, or he is trying to prove himself. He had great respect for himself, which is made clear, when he says, “have respect to/ mine honour”. However, other people honour him too.

Mark Antony, despite his grief over his best friend’s death, he still calls him “wise and honourable”. However, he must keep the conspirators on his right side until he is safe. He is of course, in a very dangerous position. Even just before he is going to die, he is still honourable: “I shall have glory by this losing day”. Before he commits suicide, he writes himself a noble death: “for Brutus’s tongue/ hath almost ended his life’s story”.

He is also loved by Caesar. This is made clear in his last words: “Et tu Brute?”. This means “Even you Brutus”. He can’t believe that his best friend was one of the conspirators. Mark Antony reiterates this by describing Brutus as “well beloved” in front of the crowd. He also declares that Brutus is “Caesar’s angel”. Here, again, he might be saying this just to keep the crowd calm, and keep himself out of the danger of being assassinated himself.

The people also respect him. When he enters the pulpit, the people say “The noble Brutus is acsended”. Despite all this, he is still quite modest. He says that he “would rather be a villager”. He also thinks he is not worthy of his wife, which is made clear when he asks God to “render me worthy of this noble wife!”. The also tells Portia: “kneel not, gentle Portia”. Brutus is also a caring person. When Portia is outside, and Brutus meets her, he is worried about her health (“it is not for your health thus to commit/ your weak condition”). However, it could also be politeness.

He also seems to be quite clever. He is observant, which is made clear when he tells Casca that “Caesar looks so sad”. This means that he tries to observe people’s emotions. He also keeps his secrets. We know this because Portia demans that she “should know this secret”.

He is an orator. Antony makes this clear by telling the crowd that he is “no orator as Brutus is”. He can manipulate the crowds, because after his speech, the crowds cheer him. He does this by using rhetolical questions: “who is here so rude/ that would not be a Roman”. By using the word “rude” nobody is going to object, or say anything.

Secondly, I will note some of Brutus’ negative points. The first point is that he is easily manipulated. We know this because Cassius makes him join the conspirators. This is quite strange, as Brutus was a good orator himself.

He is decribed as a traitor by Mark Antony: “more strong than traitor’s arms”. Brutus and Cassius are described as “madmen” by a servant: “like madmen through the gates of Rome”. These words weren’t true because the conspirators were well organised and almost nobody knew about what they were about to do to Caesar.

However strong he is, he is still quite vulnerable. This is proved when he sees Julius Caesar’s ghost. He admits he is scared, by saying “mak’st my blood cold and my hair to stare”.

Thirdly, I will point out, and give evidence about Brutus’ motive. “Brutus’s motive is to do a good deed for Rome”.

The first proof for this statement is when Brutus says to Rome: “thou receivest/ thy full petition at the hand of Brutus”. He has no personal cause to assassinate Caesar, which is made clear when he says “I know no personal cause”. He sees the assassination of Caesar more as a sacrifice: “be sacrificers, but not butchers”. However, he knows it must be done: “alas,/ Caesar must bleed for it”.

Because of his genuine belief it was a good deed, he lets Antony “speak all good you can devise of Caesar” even though Cassius disagrees. It is also proved by him saying: “no, not an oath”. He thinks it is not necessary because the conspirators could trust each other, and were doing a good deed together.

However, later in the play, he cracks up. It starts when he sees Caesar’s ghost. Later he confesses defeat: “our enemies have beat us to the pit”.

After he runs over his sword he says his last words: “I killed thee not with half so good a will”. This means he would rather die himself than kill Julius Caesar, and he gives in to the guilt.

Overall, you can say that Brutus genuinely believed that he was doing a noble deed for the sake of Rome. The positive points show his nobility and honour. But at the end (just like Macbeth) he feels guilty and commits suicide.

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