Julius caesar brutus character analysis essay

Brutus’s rigid idealism is both his greatest virtue and his most deadly flaw. In the world of the play, where self-serving ambition seems to dominate all other motivations, Brutus lives up to Antony ’s elegiac description of him as “the noblest of Romans.” However, his commitment to principle repeatedly leads him to make miscalculations: wanting to curtail violence, he ignores Cassius’s suggestion that the conspirators kill Antony as well as Caesar. In another moment of naïve idealism, he again ignores Cassius’s advice and allows Antony to speak a funeral oration over Caesar’s body. As a result, Brutus forfeits the authority of having the last word on the murder and thus allows Antony to incite the plebeians to riot against him and the other conspirators. Brutus later endangers his good relationship with Cassius by self-righteously condemning what he sees as dishonorable fund-raising tactics on Cassius’s part. In all of these episodes, Brutus acts out of a desire to limit the self-serving aspects of his actions; ironically, however, in each incident he dooms the very cause that he seeks to promote, thus serving no one at all.

Modern adaptions of the play have often made contemporary political references, [43] with Caesar depicted as resembling a variety of political leaders, including Huey Long , Margaret Thatcher , and Tony Blair . [44] Professor A. J. Hartley , the Robinson Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte , states that this is fairly "common trope" of Julius Caesar performances: "Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the rule has been to create a recognisable political world within the production. And often people in the title role itself look like or feel like somebody either in recent or current politics." [44] A 2012 production of Julius Caesar by the Guthrie Theatre and The Acting Company "presented Caesar in the guise of a black actor who was meant to suggest President Obama ." [43] This production was not particularly controversial. [43] In 2017, however, a modern adaptation of the play at New York's Shakespeare in the Park (performed by The Public Theater ) depicted Caesar with the likeness of President Donald Trump and thereby aroused ferocious controversy, drawing criticism by right-wing media such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart and prompting corporate sponsors Bank of America and Delta Airlines to pull their financial support. [43] [45] [46] [47] The Public Theater stated that the message of the play is not pro-assassination and that the point is that "those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save." Shakespeare scholars Stephen Greenblatt [48] and Peter Holland agreed with this statement. [44] Pallotta stated that "I have never read anyone suggesting that 'Julius Caesar' is a play that recommends assassination. Look what happens: Caesar is assassinated to stop him becoming a dictator. Result: civil war, massive slaughter, creation of an emperor, execution of many who sympathized with the conspiracy. Doesn't look much like a successful result for the conspirators to me." [44] The play was interrupted several times by right-wing protesters, who accused the play of "violence against the right", and actors and members of theatres with Shakespeare in the name has been harassed and received death threats , including the wife of the play's director Oskar Eustis . [49] [50] [51] [52] The protests were praised by American Family Association director Sandy Rios who compared the play with the execution of Christians by damnatio ad bestias . [53]

In Julius Caesar, the audience is able to see both the private and public sides of Caesar and Brutus. Caesar is a powerful confident man who leads great armies and effectively rules the Roman empire, yet he is not without weakness. He is highly superstitious, suffers from epilepsy, and ultimately proves to be human when murdered by his closest friends. Similarly, Brutus is strong and refuses to show weakness when in public, whether it be speaking to the plebeians or leading an army into battle. However, we see through his intimate conversations with his wife Portia and with Cassius, that Brutus is often unsure and greatly pained. Specifically, after fleeing Rome, Brutus learns that his wife has committed suicide, and is heartbroken when discussing it with Cassius. However, as soon as soldiers enter his tent, he pretends to not know of her death, and when told of it, does not react with great emotion.

Brutus is the most complex of the characters in this play. He is proud of his reputation for honor and nobleness, but he is not always practical, and is often naive. He is the only major character in the play intensely committed to fashioning his behavior to fit a strict moral and ethical code, but he take actions that are unconsciously hypocritical. One of the significant themes that Shakespeare uses to enrich the complexity of Brutus involves his attempt to ritualize the assassination of Caesar. He cannot justify, to his own satisfaction, the murder of a man who is a friend and who has not excessively misused the powers of his office. Consequently, thinking of the assassination in terms of a quasi-religious ritual instead of cold-blooded murder makes it more acceptable to him. Unfortunately for him, he consistently misjudges the people and the citizens of Rome; he believes that they will be willing to consider the assassination in abstract terms.

Julius caesar brutus character analysis essay

julius caesar brutus character analysis essay

Brutus is the most complex of the characters in this play. He is proud of his reputation for honor and nobleness, but he is not always practical, and is often naive. He is the only major character in the play intensely committed to fashioning his behavior to fit a strict moral and ethical code, but he take actions that are unconsciously hypocritical. One of the significant themes that Shakespeare uses to enrich the complexity of Brutus involves his attempt to ritualize the assassination of Caesar. He cannot justify, to his own satisfaction, the murder of a man who is a friend and who has not excessively misused the powers of his office. Consequently, thinking of the assassination in terms of a quasi-religious ritual instead of cold-blooded murder makes it more acceptable to him. Unfortunately for him, he consistently misjudges the people and the citizens of Rome; he believes that they will be willing to consider the assassination in abstract terms.

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