Was Brutus justified in his actions against Caesar? Did the end justify the means and betrayal in this case?Consider the way in which he was deceived by Cassius to inform your opinion. Also...

Was Brutus justified in his actions against Caesar? Did the end justify the means and betrayal in this case?

Consider the way in which he was deceived by Cassius to inform your opinion. Also consider the portrayal of Caesar in the play and his potential to become what Brutus feared he would be.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One could argue that Brutus was justified in deciding to join the conspirators to assassinate Julius Caesar. Brutus genuinely believed that Caesar was an ambitious man, who would put an end to the Republic and rule Rome as a king. Despite being close friends with Caesar, Brutus is manipulated by Cassius into joining the conspirators. Brutus struggles with the decision to assassinate Caesar but ultimately decides that it is in the best interest of the Roman population for Caesar to die. While Brutus is guilty of naively believing Cassius and being manipulated, there is evidence that suggests Julius Caesar would have attempted to end the Republic by becoming king. Caesar is depicted as a rather arrogant, confident man, who views himself as the most esteemed, successful Roman in the empire. Caesar even refers to himself as "constant as the northern star" and suggests that no man will ever be able to sway his opinion. Caesar was also hesitant to push the crown from his head in front of the masses, which suggests that he wishes to become king. Given Caesar's potential to become king, one could sympathize with Brutus's honorable decision to assassinate Caesar, even though the outcome is not what he intended. Brutus's decision to not murder Mark Antony may have dramatically altered the outcome and restored the Republic, even he if did participate in Caesar's assassination. Overall, Julius Caesar's assassination does not prevent the Republic from dissipating and ultimately results in the reign of Augustus Caesar.

smflannery eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the time, Brutus was justified in his decision to assassinate Julius Caesar.  He truly thought he was preventing his best friend from becoming an unjust ruler like so many had before him.  Unfortunately, Brutus fell prey to Cassius’s cunning wit and tongue resulting in a premature decision on his part.  Brutus originally wanted to talk to Julius Caesar about his corruption and give him the chance to amend his ways, but Cassius talked him out of it claiming that there was no chance for change and they had to strike before Caesar became hated by the people.  As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20.”  Brutus’s love for Rome had him assassinate one corrupt leader and make way for three more.  Looking back in the play to the information we were given about the reign of Julius Caesar, Brutus made the best decision with the information he was given at the time.

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Julius Caesar

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