Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Was Brutus of Julius Caesar a villain or a hero?

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Brutus is the protagonist of Julius Caesar. The term "protagonist", unlike "hero" or "villain", is value -neutral, indicating that he is the most important character in the play and the the events of the play revolve around his actions, their context, and their consequences.

While many popular films or examples of genre fiction have "heroes" and "villains," many literary works are admired because the characters do not simplistically divide into good and bad but reflect moral dilemmas. Plutarch's account of the death of Julius Caesar may well have sparked Shakespeare's interest precisely because it portrays moral conflicts and questions, rather than a simple opposition between good and evil.

Brutus is described as "the noblest Roman of them all" who participates in the murder of Caesar for love of the Republic rather than malice or personal gain. On the one hand, one can consider his motives admirable because he acts out of loyalty to ideals. On the other hand, he does help murder a man who...

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