Does Act 5 of "Julius Caesar" serve to indicate that power always destroys itself or clear up the tragic irony of Brutus' motives?Pay particular attention to the arguments, battles, and...

Does Act 5 of "Julius Caesar" serve to indicate that power always destroys itself or clear up the tragic irony of Brutus' motives?

Pay particular attention to the arguments, battles, and deaths.

 

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite the title of this play, it is a play about Brutus and his political idealism.  Brutus is terrified of Caesar's popularity because he believes that Caesar could end the republic.  Others are jealous of Caesar - Brutus cares only for Rome.  However, in his idealism and naivete, Brutus was "duped" into the assassination plot.  He just wanted to protect the republic - it was the others who wanted to destroy Caesar and who convinced Brutus that he had to go along in order to protect Rome.

The events of Act V underline the fact that Brutus' motives were warped by misconception and adherence to his own principles.  Cassius' death is a result of misconception, of assuming the worst when really he could have been safe.  The arguments between Octavius and Antony are a result of Antony's misconceptions concerning his own power.  The death of Brutus is tied to Brutus' principles, as he feels suicide is the only honorable thing to do.  The irony exists in the contradictory nature of these characters' principles and actions.   Cassius tricks Brutus into killing Caesar, but is fooled into killing himself.  Brutus believes he has been protecting Rome, but he helped to bring its downfall. 

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Julius Caesar

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