Brutus and Caesar Characters in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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“I love the name of honor, more than I fear death.” This was said by Julius Caesar who later died due to his pride and honor devoted to himself and his city. Caesar is a powerful, well spoken and persuasive man in power. Brutus, on the other hand, is loyal, noble, and patriotic.

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Both characters love their city but show their pride in different ways. Unfortunately, Caesar was killed before being able to show his capability and what he could achieve but, he shows his personality traits before his death. Brutus shows his attributes throughout the whole play. Caesar’s characteristics seem to make him flourish while Brutus’s personality traits seem to be his biggest fault. Shakespeare portrays these characters in many different ways throughout the play, but mainly through Caesar’s arrogance and Brutus’s naivety.

Julius Caesar has an extreme amount of power over the populaion throughout the time he is alive and that power remained strong after his death. From the beginning of the play to his death, Caesar is shown to be power-hungry. One of Caesar’s main goals was to seek of authority over Rome. This search for power causes Caesar to show both his positive and negative personality traits. These traits include; being exceptionally cunning, well driven, while also being foolish. Caesar shows his foolishness when the soothsayer tries to warn him and Caesar replies with, “He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass” (1.2.24). Since the soothsayer can forsee the future, it would have been wise of Caesar to take notice of his warning. Caesar also tries to show the plebeians his courage and selflesness when he says:

Caesar should be a beast without a heart

If he should stay at home to-day for fear.

No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well

That Caesar is more dangerous than he

(2.2.45-51)

Ceasar thinking that he should be a beast without a heart not only shows his courage but also his determination to depict a strong leader to the citizens.

Marcus Brutus has the faulty quality of being too naive for his own good. He truly wants what is best for Rome but his lack of being able to think for himself is what truly fails him in the end. Brutus shows his naivety when he tells Cassius that Antony should not worry them. Brutus says, “Our action will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,/ To cut the head off and then hack the limbs” (2.1.61-65). Brutus should have known Antony would retaliate being Antony is so devoted Caesar. Another one of Brutus’s attributes would be his loyalty. Brutus demonstrates that he is trustworthy and loyal when he tells the conspiators they do not need an oath. Brutus says, “if not the face of men,/ The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse,—/ If these be motives weak, break off betimes” (2.1.114-116).Brutus thinks that the rest of the consipirators are as loyal to the conspiracy as he is. Not only does this display that he is trustful, it again shows his gullibility.

At face value, Julius Caesar and Brutus seem very different from each other, but they may be more similar than they appear. Caesar and Brutus are well-liked by the commoners. Due to this, they both can pursuade them easily. Julius is very charming and that shows when he declines the crown three times. Casca explains to the conspirators what she saw. “and he put it by thrice, every/ time gentler than other, and at every putting-by/ mine honest neighbours shouted” (1.2.321-323). Although Brutus was never offered a crown, he shows his charm in a different way. Brutus persuades the crowd into thinking that killing Caesar was necessary, “—Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved/ Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and/ die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead“ (3.2.1555-1557). Although he persuaded the crowd, what he failed to accomplish was the emotional aspect of the speech, which Antony thrived at in his. In addition to them both having charm, Brutus and Caesar are both extremely conceited. Caesar is conceited in obvious ways where Brutus is not. Cassius convinces Brutus that he is as, if not more, intelligent and powerfull than Caesar. “I was born free as Caesar; so were you:/ We both have fed as well, and we can both/ Endure the winter’s cold as well as he” (1.2.187-189). Gradually, this makes Brutus believe that instead of Caesar, he should be the person in power of Rome. When Brutus comes to believe that he should be in power, he in turn becomes arrogant.

To conclude, these characters are both strong, powerful men who are illustrated in many different ways through the beginning to the end of the play. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar was truly a tragedy for both of these authoritative Romans. Brutus let his innocence hinder his means of achieving his goals and Caesar allowed his pride to interfere with his success. The plot of the play establishes the qualities and virtues of both of these dynamic people. Although they were influential, Brutus and Caesar both had faults that ultimately led to their demise.      

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