In the end, did the conspirators succeed in their goal in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare?

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Most of the conspirators in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare wanted to keep Caesar from gaining too much power.  Others in the plot had personal vendettas against the great general.  Yet, Caesar is brutally assassinated in the Senate on March 15, 44.B.C.

In Act V of the play,  the two factions meet in battle.  Antony and Octavius versus Cassius and Brutus--this battle will decide the future of Rome. Unfortunately, within each of the sides there has been dissension. Cassius and Brutus fought over trivialities and have seemingly made concessions.  Antony and Octavius have disagreed on how to pursue the battle.  Although Antony has more experience, Octavius will not bow to the will of Antony.  He will do as he please. These may be the future leaders of Rome.

Have the conspirators accomplished their goals?

First, Caesar has been assassinated. The fear that he would become too powerful was the desire of Brutus.

Cassius had personal problems with Caesar, so his complaints have been avenged and ended by Caesar's death.

The success of the conspiracy must be weighed against whether the killing of a king is justifiable as a means of ending (or preventing) the tyranny of dictatorship and the loss of freedom. Brutus strikes Caesar down in the name of liberty, fearing that absolute power and Caesar's view of himself as more than a mere mortal will enslave Rome to the will of a single man.

The orations by Cassius and Brutus failed because the Roman citizens were incited to riot by Antony's oration. They found  several of the conspirators and killed them. 

These two great Romans are no longer welcome in Rome. In fact, after this battle, Antony wants to bring them back in chains to be tried and executed for the public good.

Many great soldiers are lost in the battle that is fought at Phillipi.  The armies of Cassius and Brutus are defeated. Finally, both Cassius and Brutus commit suicide.

To answer the question specifically, part of the conspiracy was accomplished: Caesar died. While a Roman future without Caesar temporarily prevents tyranny, it yields an even worse outcome  for the Roman government : civil war.  

On the other hand, the conspirators did not plan to die alongside of Caesar.  When everything is over, all of them are dead, and the government is in turmoil.   

 

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