What are quotes that show that Brutus is loyal, caring, and a respected man in Julius Caesar?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

We know that Brutus, "Caesar's angel," is a respected man in Rome, because even Marc Antony, who has most reason to speak ill of him, reminds the crowd of this fact after Caesar's death. As Antony describes it, it was because "well-beloved Brutus" was so dear to Caesar that his...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

We know that Brutus, "Caesar's angel," is a respected man in Rome, because even Marc Antony, who has most reason to speak ill of him, reminds the crowd of this fact after Caesar's death. As Antony describes it, it was because "well-beloved Brutus" was so dear to Caesar that his involvement in Caesar's death was so painful.

When Brutus stands up to explain himself, this respect is evident in that the citizens demand to "hear Brutus speak." The Third Citizen is easily able to command quiet for Brutus with the statement, "The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!"

According to Brutus's own explanation of what took place, he is a loyal and caring man, but, crucially, while he did love Caesar, his greater loyalties lie with Rome itself, Rome's citizens, and the principles of its democracy. Brutus explains himself:

If then that friend demand
why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
--Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I
slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his
fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his
ambition. (Act III, Scene II).

Elsewhere, we see that Brutus is a caring and loyal man in terms of his relationship with Cassius. While he does become increasingly short-tempered with Cassius as the war with Antony continues, Brutus does still recognize the value of the friendship Cassius has with him, and is not above apologising for his faults. Act IV, Scene III, is a very powerful depiction of the interaction between Cassius and Brutus, with this exchange in particular giving a good insight into the depth of Brutus's feeling:

CASSIUS:

Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him?

BRUTUS:
When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.

CASSIUS:
Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.

BRUTUS:
And my heart too.


CASSIUS:
O Brutus!

Cassius recognizes that, for all Brutus's faults and poor decisions, he is indeed acting for love of Rome, rather than out of personal ambition.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One example of Brutus’s sensitivity is his reaction when he decides Julius Caesar must die.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream (Act 2, Scene 1)

This demonstrates that he does not want to kill him, but he feels that he has to.  This is the crux of it.  He is loyal to Caesar.  He wants to be loyal.  Yet he feels that he has no other choice.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team