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In act 2, scene 1 of Julius Caesar, what is Brutus deliberating about in this quote:...

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deeksha | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 17, 2007 at 10:42 PM via web

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In act 2, scene 1 of Julius Caesar, what is Brutus deliberating about in this quote: "and therefore think him as a serpants egg ...."?

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 17, 2007 at 11:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Brutus is deliberating about why Caesar should be killed.  He is trying to come up with a reason that would justify the murder.  All he comes up with in this soliloquy is that Caesar is now humble and could rise to pride if he is allowed to continue in power.  Brutus compares him to a serpent's egg which is harmless while an egg, but once hatched will grow into a dangerous killer.  The abuse of greatness Brutus talks about is having power with no remorse.  Caesar is not guilty of this, but again Brutus is worrying about the possiblility.

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teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 18, 2007 at 2:39 AM (Answer #2)

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Here Brutus is deliberating about killing Caesar. He is talking about killing Caesar, even though as he speaks there is no real solid proof that Caesar is going to become a corrupt tyrant (which is their fear). However, he is trying to rationalize becoming part of the conspiracy. He is comparing killing Caesar before he can become a tyrant and do considerable harm to killing a serpent\'s egg before it can hatch and bite someone and cause them harm.

If you examine Brutus closely, you will see him constantly trying to convince himself that killing Caesar - without any real proof that he will become evil - is the right thing to do. Also note when Brutus states that if it should make Rome a better place, he would gladly kill himself. Brutus, unlike Cassius, is only interested in the good of Rome. Cassius, on the other hand, is motivated by power and greed. In an ultimate irony, Cassius is more likely to become an evil tyrant than Caesar.

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teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 18, 2007 at 2:41 AM (Answer #3)

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Here Brutus is deliberating about killing Caesar. He is talking about killing Caesar, even though as he speaks there is no real solid proof that Caesar is going to become a corrupt tyrant (which is their fear). However, he is trying to rationalize becoming part of the conspiracy. He is comparing killing Caesar before he can become a tyrant and do considerable harm to killing a serpent\'s egg before it can hatch and bite someone and cause them harm.

If you examine Brutus closely, you will see him constantly trying to convince himself that killing Caesar - without any real proof that he will become evil - is the right thing to do. Also note when Brutus states that if it should make Rome a better place, he would gladly kill himself. Brutus, unlike Cassius, is only interested in the good of Rome. Cassius, on the other hand, is motivated by power and greed. In an ultimate irony, Cassius is more likely to become an evil tyrant than Caesar.

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