In the tragedy Julius Caesar, did Brutus die honorably?   

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For a soldier, to die by one's own hand (or the hand of a comrade or servant), could definitely be considered more honorable than to be taken as a prisoner.  In Act V, scene v, Brutus knows that he has no more options for fighting, so his choices are either to be taken or to take his own life.

Brutus dies upon a sword held by Strato, after proclaiming his own purity of intention -- how everything he did was for the good of Rome.

Antony, upon discovery of Brutus' dead body, also, praises Brutus in his final speech of the play:

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.

Antony concludes his praise of Brutus with the words:  "This was a man!"

Just to drive the point home further, Shakespeare has the officer charged with removing Brutus' body say:

Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie,

Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.


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Julius Caesar

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