Brutus is not all Nobility and Caesar is not all Ambition in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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Brutus is not all Nobility and Caesar is not all Ambition in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Throughout Shakespeare’s plays, we are demonstrated the duality of human nature in which he allows his characters to operate and respond to specific situations. We are often introduced to an apparent one-sided figure, only to discover the character’s different features, flaws or loyalty, as he interacts with others and develops.

Caesar is often described as that of pure ambition and dictatorship. Qualities such as pompousness and arrogance are prominent in his character. He is “like a Colossus” above the “petty men”, calls himself the “Northern star” and elevates himself above the senate. However, we are hinted at what may be a compassionate
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Brutus, who was considered one of Caesar’s closest friend, was able to theorise about what could have “run to these extremities”. He deeply feared Caesarism and the idea of absolute rule by a single king. Caesar may have been a potential “snake in a shell”, but this claim was based upon what he assumed people “as his kind” would grow to become when they were climbing up the ladder of success. Brutus had no evidence of Caesar becoming a tyrant and Brutus’ decisions were made with no real evidence. Also, it is clear that Brutus is a poor judge of character, and that his assumption of Caesar may have been inaccurate.

Brutus’ character is synonymous with that of honour, patriotism and nobility, but not without human flaws. Although possessing the qualities of a true hero, and is considered by even the bitterest man, Casca, to be of the highest integrity. Even after his death, his archenemy, Marc Antony, recognizes that “This was a man… only in a general honest thought”. Brutus is extremely patriotic towards his country and would “rather be a villager” or spend an eternity in Hades, than be ruled by a king. Brutus may well have been the “noblest Roman of them all”. Yet, no mere man is without weaknesses.

Acknowledging the fact that the act of killing Caesar was for the greater good of the Roman Empire, and even as the act was seen as a “sacrifice” and “a purging”, is still remains dishonourable, as Brutus was considered one of Caesar’s

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