The conspiracy of Julius Caesar. Is Brutus right in joining the conspiracy?

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A conspiracy is defined as a combination of persons for an evil or unlawful purpose. In the play 'Julius Caesar' by William Shakespeare a group of conspirators, with different motives, plan to assassinate Julius Caesar, a powerful leader of Rome.

Brutus a supporter of the republic and powerful public figure is a man with good intentions but was a tragic flaw. Brutus is seen as a respectable character and noble man but it shown to be easily fooled and manipulated. Brutus is also a conspirator in the murder of Julius Caesar.

Brutus tragic flaw is an important part on the play and his reasons for joining the conspiracy. His flaw is that he is too idealistic and makes his decisions while expecting the best of people. By expecting everyone is as noble as himself, he is gullible and naive.

Brutus has 2 main motives that are linked, for joining the conspiracy.

His first motive is fear that Caesar will become corrupted by power and will forget about Rome. This following quote uses personification of ambition.

"The lowliness is young ambitions ladder,whereto the climber - upward turns his face;But when he once attains the upmost round,He then into the ladder turns his back,"(2.2.22-25)This quote is Brutus saying the Caesar will climb the ladder of ambition, each the top and not look back down at the citizens of Rome. This fear then leads Brutus to believe that killing Caesar will be for the good of Rome, his second motive.

"And therefore think him as a serpent's egg.

(Which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous)And kill him in his shell"(2.1.32-24)In the quote Brutus is comparing Caesar to a snake to show that even though Caesar is a good leader now, like all leaders eventually he will be corrupted and he must be killed before that happens. Brutus believes he must kill Caesar to avoid a one- man rule and for the good of the country. His tragic flaw allows him to be fooled into this by the other conspirators. Brutus believes his motives are honorable. If Caesar was really being killed for the good of Rome and not because the other conspirators were jealous of his power, Brutus motives would be honorable.

There are reasons why Brutus is wrong in joining the conspiracy but I believe Brutus is right in joining the conspiracy.

Brutus if wrong in joining the conspiracy because Caesar is a good ruler and is no actual threat to the good of Rome, Brutus if just fooled into thinking this. Brutus also took the law into his own hands. Despite how he feels about Caesar "yet I love him well" 1.2.82, he betrays his best friend and commits murder, two qualities disapproved of and condemned in society. Brutus also gets caught up in his belief's that Rome would not work under a one-leader rule and is unable to see this situation from any other point of view. It is quite possible that the citizens of Rome would be happy even if Caesar became king.

However Brutus is right in joining the conspiracy because his motives are of good intentions and although he is committing a murder he is doing it to prevent significant harm to a country. Although Brutus betrays his best friend he does it for the good of an entire country and it is shown that he does not make this decision easily.

"Since Cassius first whet me against Caesar, I have not slept' 2.1.61-62.

This quote shows that Brutus is anxious and upset by his decision. Brutus motives are not selfish like the other conspirators but are genuine and of good nature.

"Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods" 2.1.73-74.

This quote shows that although Brutus wants to kill Caesar he wishes to do it in a humane and respectful way. Brutus a good person because he thinks and makes sacrifices for the good of others but he is flawed by being naive. The audience feels sympathy for Brutus because he accidentally makes the wrong decisions and ends up killing himself as a result of his previous actions.

I think Brutus is right in joining the conspiracy because he is doing it for the good of Rome, which would be the right thing to do if it had not been the result of manipulation from the other conspirators. It is important to remember that although we as the audience are aware that Brutus is being fooled he believes he is right and therefore I believe that his actions are noble. He chooses to live with the guilt and sacrifice his best friend in order to save a country which I believe are noble actions.

BibliographyJulius Caesar edited by Marvin Spevack