Julius Caesar -- character dev

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 748 times

Development of Marcus BrutusMarcus Brutus, from the play Julius Cæsar, made many decisions. In making these decisions, he showed what kind of a person he was on a moral, intellectual, social, or practical level. Some of these decisions were good decisions and some of them were not. Through all of these decisions, though, it is shown what kind of a person Brutus was.

Some of the decisions that Brutus made were not exactly the best decisions. In fact, they may be seen as mistakes. One of these mistakes that Brutus made was right at the beginning of the play, in Act 1, scene 2. Cassius and Brutus are having a conversation near the marketplace while the Lupercal race is being held. Cassius starts to manipulate Brutus, and Brutus realizes this. He even asks Cassius, "Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, for that which is not in me?".

This quote proves that Brutus knew that Cassius was trying to manipulate him, and yet Brutus decided to stay and listen. Through the decision making that Brutus showed in that instance, it can be seen that Brutus is not a very smart person. Brutus' lack of intelligence is also shown when all the other conspirators are at his house. Cassius suggests that Cicero should be asked to join the conspiracy because "his silver hairs will purchase us a good opinion". Brutus, however, thinks that "he [Cicero] will never follow anything that other men begin". Later in the play, it becomes realized that if Brutus would have listened to Cassius and asked Cicero to join them, the citizens of Rome wouldn't have involved themselves in a civil war. Another mistake made by Brutus was to not kill Mark Antony. Even though Cassius suggested many times that Antony should have been killed, Brutus never listens. It is clear in the latter stages of the play that Brutus should have killed Antony as Cassius told him to. This shows that Brutus does not have very good foresight or perception. It also shows that Brutus has strong morals and thinks that others do too. He thinks that when Cæsar dies, "all he [Antony] can do is to himself, take thought and die for Cæsar". Brutus continues throughout the play to utilize his lack of intelligence to his disadvantage. After Cæsar is killed, Antony comes to the conspirators and asks them if he can speak at Cæsar's funeral. Brutus, of course, lets him speak as to Antony's request, and then makes another mistake by letting Antony speak last, after Brutus has spoken. Brutus does not realize that the last speaker has the advantage, and even extends the advantage that Mark Antony already has by leaving the pulpit after he has spoken, and then telling all the people to stay to listen to what Antony has to stay. This not only shows that Brutus has an intelligence deficiency, but that he also has strong morals, and he believes in fairness for everyone. During the war, Brutus must make a decision: whether to go to Phillipi or to stay where he is. Cassius advises Brutus to keep the army where it is, and let Antony and Octavius "Waste his means, weary his soldiers, doing himself offence; whilst we [Brutus and Cassius], lying still, are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness.". Despite all this good advice from Cassius, Brutus still goes ahead and marches to Phillipi, once again not using his intelligence.

Some of Brutus' mistakes were made not because of his lack of intelligence, but his strong moral values. As mentioned above, Brutus had some very strong moral values, and these values resulted in mistakes made by Brutus. One of these mistakes was deciding to kill Cæsar. Brutus thought that he killed Cæsar for the good of Rome. This shows that he cares more about the whole than he does himself. Brutus had "no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general". This, however, was only the first part of this mistake. The second came when Brutus killed Cæsar. Brutus killed Cæsar, as mentioned above, because he thought it was for the good of Rome. He thought that when Cæsar gained the crown, he would abuse his power, but Brutus had never known Cæsar "when his affections swayed more than his reason.". Nevertheless, Brutus still killed Cæsar because he wouldn't go back on his word, and Brutus "is an honourable man".

This shows that Brutus' values concerning his honesty are extremely strong, even to the point where he won't go back on a promise he made to himself. Brutus is a very strong person on a moral level.

It may seem that everything Brutus did in Julius Cæsar was a mistake, but this is not so. There were some decisions that Brutus made in the play Julius Cæsar that were not mistakes. Brutus made many decisions in the play Julius Cæsar. Some of these decisions were mistakes, and some of these desicions were not mistakes.