What is a character analysis of Brutus in Julius Caesar?
Brutus, known as the "noblest Roman of them all," is a popular politician and close friend of Julius Caesar. Throughout the play, Brutus is a conflicted, complex man who makes the difficult decision to join the conspirators in Julius Caesar's assassination. Unlike the other senators, who assassinate Caesar for personal gain, Brutus chooses to follow Cassius out his concern for the Roman citizens. While Brutus has no evidence that Caesar has misused his power, he deliberates with himself over Caesar's ambitious nature. In Brutus's soliloquy in Act One, Scene 2, he likens Caesar to a "serpent’s egg," which will grow into a malevolent creature. He decides to join the conspirators out of fear that Julius Caesar will turn into a ruthless tyrant. Despite Brutus's good intentions and positive reputation, he is also naive, impressionable, and hypocritical. He is heavily influenced by Cassius and believes that the Roman citizens will sympathize with the conspirators after Caesar's assassination. Brutus also makes the costly decision to allow Mark Antony to live and give a speech during Caesar's funeral, which incites a riot in Antony's favor. While Brutus has good intentions, he is manipulated by Cassius and the other senators into committing an egregious act against the state. Brutus's guilt is also evident in his hallucination when he speaks to Caesar's ghost. Brutus's complex nature and controversial decisions make him an unforgettable tragic hero throughout the play.
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