In Julius Caesar, what does Brutus mean by, "Caesar, now be still; I killed not thee with half so good a will"? (5.5)

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Of all the conspirators, Brutus was most driven by his altruism. He is, without a doubt, the most thoughtful and forward-thinking character in the play. Brutus wanted what was best for Rome, for his wife, and for his comrades. Caesar was his friend, and Brutus declared his love for Caesar in even the most public of forums:

If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. 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. (act 3, scene 2)

From the beginning of the play, he agonized over his decision to participate in Caesar's murder. Brutus was manipulated by other characters, like Cassius, who preyed on his belief in the benevolence of his fellow Romans. Leading up to the assassination, Brutus was strong in his conviction that he was doing the right thing.

When he delivers this quote at the end of the play, it is clear to...

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