What are some important traits of Brutus in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar? Please support with quotations.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Brutus is, in many ways, the hero of William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Brutus is portrayed, in an historically accurate manner, as a follower of the Stoic school of philosophy. He is also a strong defender of the principles of the Roman Republic. Unlike the other conspirators, who act from a variety of motives, Brutus acts primarily from principle, despite strong personal ties of affection to Caesar. Brutus is highly rational, and tends to think things through and remain calm (until the very end of the play). At times he is less effective than he could be because he refuses to compromise his principles.


Antony about Brutus:
This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators, save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar,
He, only in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world: "This was a man!"

It must be by his death, and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder
And that craves wary walking. Crown him? that;
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power, and, to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections sway’d
More than his reason
Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 10 sq.


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