Describe an internal conflict that occurs in Act 1 of Julius Caesar. What effect does this conflict have on your appreciation of that character?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus deals with an internal conflict regarding the title character.  Brutus is torn between his friendship with Caesar and his love for Rome.  He recognizes Caesar's ambition, suspecting that Caesar wants to be named king of Rome.  Given Caesar's ruthlessness, Brutus knows that if he becomes king, Rome will suffer.  Brutus and Caesar have fought side by side in battle, and on a personal level, he admires Caesar as a friend.  Brutus' allegiance to his country wins out over friendship, and he joins the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar.  An appreciation for Brutus' loyalty to his country makes it easier for the reader to agree with Mark Antony's comment that Brutus "was the noblest Roman of them all".

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

amethystrose is perfectly correct in identifying this as the major conflict in Act I of this play. I, perhaps, have a more cynical view about Brutus however. Whilst I recognise that he is torn between his friendship and love for Caesar and his love for Rome, I also think that he is equally torn by his own ambition and desire for power and envy of Julius Caesar. These are areas that Cassius definitely plays upon in the famous seduction scene of this act, when he deliberately makes Brutus consider why Caesar has all the glory and Brutus does not and asks Brutus what the difference is between them. So, I think this internal conflict reveals a far more complicated and intricate picture of Brutus and his character.

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Julius Caesar

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