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Marcus Brutus

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Marcus Brutus

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare is a play about honor, integrity, and political strife. Each character is faced with difficult decisions influenced either by ambition or honor. Marcus Brutus, one of the main characters of the play, although one of Caesar’s best friends, is the head conspirator plotting for Caesar’s death. Marcus Brutus is motivated by honor

Different things motivate Brutus throughout the play, he thinks he is motivated by honor but in reality he is also motivated by much more; his inability to separate himself from the republic, and his ego also factor into the equation. Brutus has an intense love of honor, as shown when he states: “Set honor in one eye and death i’ th’ other, and I will look on both indifferently; for let the gods so speed me, as I love the name of honor more than I fear death” (I.2.86-89). Brutus’ love of honor could be seen as both good and bad; his honor is what makes him so easily manipulated and blind to reality; but then again, at least he is motivated by the right reasons, instead of his own ambitions. Marcus Brutus never does know the difference between what he wants and what the whole of Rome wants; he thinks he knows best; “Am I entreated to speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise, if the redress will follow, thou receivest thy full petition at the hand of Brutus” (II 1.55-58). Brutus never could really see the big picture, because he thinks he knows what is right. Brutus has intelligent people like Cassius offering advice, but he simply does not listen. His ego gets in the way. He gets mad at Cassius for taking bribes, a dishonorable act, and because Cassius is associated with Brutus, he makes Brutus look

bad. Brutus cares far too much about other people’s opinions and as a result only cares about himself.

Brutus is continuously making bad decisions, the biggest of which is letting Mark Antony live; “...For Mark Antony, think not of him; for he can do no more than Caesar’s arm when Caesar’s head is off,” (II.1.81-83). Brutus’ arrogance stands in the way of logical thinking, and his honor as well; he did not want to use unnecessary violence. His next mistake is letting Mark Antony speak at the funeral; “What Antony shall speak, I will protest he speaks by leave and by permission and that we are contented Caesar shall have all true rites and lawful ceremonies it shall advantage us more than do us wrong.” (III.1.238-242). His plan might

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