What 3 main decisions led to Brutus's downfall in Julius Caesar?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brutus's first terrible decision was choosing not to Cassius when he suggested that they kill Mark Antony. Cassius realizes that Antony is fiercely loyal to Julius Caesar and believes that he will seek revenge. However, Brutus does not want the Senators to be perceived as bloody butchers so he makes the costly decision to allow Antony to live.

Brutus's second costly decision that leads to his downfall was allowing Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral. Brutus does not view Antony as a threat and believes that Antony will pacify the crowd's possible anger. He does not anticipate Antony's moving funeral oration, which incites the masses to revolt against the Senators and make the political situation worse.

Brutus's third tragic decision concerns his plan to meet Octavius and Antony at Philippi. In act 4, scene 3, Brutus tells Cassius that he plans on marching to Philippi. Cassius disagrees and mentions that they would waste provisions and tire their soldiers out before the battle. However, Brutus believes that they will receive additional reinforcement troops when they arrive at Philippi, and so he makes the terrible decision to travel before the final battle.

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first decision that led to Brutus' downfall is when he decided that he would join the conspirators in their plot to kill Caesar. The plot did not work. The conspirators had to flee for their very lives.

The second decision that led to Brutus' downfall is when he refused to listen to Cassius. Cassius warned Brutus to kill Antony along with Caesar. Brutus did not want the conspirators to appear as butchers so he allowed Antony to live.

The next decision that led to Brutus' downfall is when he gave Antony permission to speak at Caesar's funeral. Again, Cassius warned Brutus not to allow Antony to speak. Cassius feared that Antony would turn the people against the conspirators, and that is exactly what happened. Brutus had to flee for his life which ultimately led to his death.

hilahmarca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would argue that  Brutus' decision to join the conspirators to kill Caesar was the righ t decision because he truly believed it was for the good of Rome.

His first mistake was allowing Antony to talk at Caesar's funeral and especially leaving him alone without having anyone there to censure him.  I think he was correct in keeping Antony alive , for if they did decide to kill Antony too, they would have looked like murderers moreseso than liberators, since Antony was not nearly powerful enough to warrant such an assassination.

His third great mistake was NOT listening to Cassius in Act V and instead marching to Pompey to meet the enemy.  Cassius was correct in his assumption that the soldiers would be weary and unable to fight well after such a long trek.

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Julius Caesar

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