Julius Caesar: Marcus Brutus Character Analysis
William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, is mainly
based on the assassination of Julius Caesar. The character who was in charge
of the assassination was, ironically, Marcus Brutus, a servant and close friend
to Julius Caesar. But what would cause a person to kill a close friend? After
examining Brutus’ relationship to Caesar, his involvement in the conspiracy, and
his importance to the plot, the truth can be revealed.
Marcus Brutus, a servant and close friend to Caesar, has a strong
relationship with Caesar but a stronger relationship with Rome and its people.
Brutus is very close to Caesar. In Roman times, the only way for someone to get
close to a person of high rank is if he/she is close to him/her. In many points
of the play, Brutus was talking and next to Caesar. Brutus also loves Caesar but
fears his power. In the early acts of the play, Brutus says to Cassius, “What
means this shouting? I do fear the people do choose Caesar for their kingyet I
love him well.”(act 1, scene 2, ll.85-89), as he is speaking to Cassius. Brutus
loves Caesar, but would not allow him to “climber-upwardHe then unto the ladder
turns his back”(act 2, scene 1, ll.24,26). As the quote says, Brutus would not
allow Caesar to rise to power and then turn his back onto the people of Rome.
After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus talks to Antony about Caesar’s
death. “Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful; and pity to the general wrong
of Rome”(act 3, scene 1, ll.185-186). Brutus says that Antony cannot see
their(members of the conspiracy) hearts, which are full of pity. Again, this
shows how Brutus loved Caesar but cared for the life of Rome and its people more.
This is the only reason Brutus would conspire against Caesar. For Brutus says to
himself, “I know no personal cause to spurn at himHow that might change his
nature”(act 2, scene1, ll. 1,13) Caesar’s relationship with Brutus is also
strong. Just allowing Brutus to speak to Caesar shows his respect for Brutus.
Caesar feels that Brutus is noble to him and does the right thing regardless of
personal danger. On the Ides of March, as Caesar was assassinated, Caesar’s last
line is: “Et tu, Brute?–Then fall, Caesar.”(act 3, scene 1, l.85). This shows
that Caesar would not die without Brutus’ stab. Caesar realizes that there must
be a noble reason for this assassination if Brutus was in it. This again shows
how much Caesar respects Brutus. Brutus and Caesar both respect each other, but
in different ways.
Marcus Brutus had a very important role in the conspiracy against Caesar.
He was the “back-bone” of the plan. According to Cassius, Brutus’ main purpose
in the conspiracy is for an insurance policy. The people will think, since
Brutus is noble to Caesar, that there is a good reason for Caesar’s
assassination. Brutus will also be the leader of the conspiracy for another
“insurance policy” for the assassination. Cassius is the one who declares this,
“Brutus shall lead the way, and we will grace his heels with the most boldest
and best hearts of Rome. “(act 3, scene 1, ll.135-136). Again, if Brutus leads
the way, the people will think that the death of Julius Caesar wasn’t such a bad
thing. Brutus also declares to himself that his role in the conspiracy is to
save Rome. He says to the people that, “If then that friend demand why Brutus
rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I
loved Rome more.”(Act 3,scene 2,ll.21-24).
If Brutus was not in the plot of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the
conspiracy would probably not have worked. Since Brutus “loved Rome more.”(Act
3,scene2, ll.23-24), he decided to be a part of the conspiracy. If he hadn’t
loved Rome more than Caesar, he would not have joined in the assassination of
Julius Caesar. Cassius and the rest of the conspirators would probably not have
continued on without Brutus because they would have no “insurance” afterwards.
The people would think that there was no reason for Caesar’s death and most
likely beheaded all the conspirators. Also, if Brutus was not in the play, the
whole end of the play would not ever occur. Brutus would not be there to have an
army or kill himself, and Cassius will already be beheaded. If Brutus was not in