How do you justisfy Brutus's act in Julius Caesar?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Brutus loves Caesar, but he is beginning to fear that his ambition is growing. For this reason, Brutus is justified in his decision to join the conspirators to murder Caesar. Caesar is becoming more powerful. Brutus would not have it so. Brutus is disturbed by Caesar’s growing ambition. He fears that Caesar will crown himself king. Cassius notices that Brutus seems to be troubled about something. He and Brutus have a private conversation. Brutus states that he is annoyed or upset, but he does not at first state what his annoyance is. He only states that he at war with himself:

I’m annoyed lately
With different passions,
Ideas that only I can know,
Which are perhaps seen in my behavior;
But don’t let my good friends be upset—
Cassius, you’re one of them—
Or try to understand my indifference any further
Than that poor Brutus, at war with himself,
Forgets to show friendship to other men.

Brutus is at war with himself because he fears Caesar will crown himself king. He does not desire for Caesar to be king. He fears that all Romans will become slaves to Caesar. When the people are shouting, Brutus fears that the people will have Caesar to become king:

What does this shouting mean? I’m afraid the people
Are going to choose Caesar for their king.

Cassius asks Brutus a question. Would you not have it so? Would you not have Caesar crown himself king is Cassius' question. Brutus responds that he would not like to see Caesar crowned as king:

I wouldn’t, Cassius; but I really like him,
But why are you keeping me here so long?
What do you want to tell me?
If it’s anything for the common good,
Put honor in one of my eyes and death in the other
And I’ll look on both equally;
Because, let the gods strike me dead, I love
The name of honor more than I’m afraid death.

Brutus is an honorable man. He is well respected. He would not be thinking about joining a conspiracy if he were not afraid that Caesar has become overly ambitious.

Brutus does care about Caesar, but he would not have him to become too powerful. Brutus is justified in in his fears. He is justified in his thinking that Caesar has become overly ambitious. Brutus is justified in his decision to kill Caesar because he is protecting the good of Rome. If Caesar becomes king, all of Rome will suffer. Brutus realizes that he cannot allow his country land to suffer at the hand of Caesar who has become selfishly ambitious.

Brutus loves Rome more than he loves Caesar. For this reason, he is justified in his decision to kill Caesar and rid Rome of Caesar's tyranny.


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