What is the meaning of "a place in the commonwealth," as said by Brutus in act 3, scene 2 of the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare?

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"A place in the commonwealth" describes Brutus's ideal vision for the Roman state. He wants Rome to remain a republic, where no one individual has too much power over the Senate and the masses. He believes everyone will benefit from Caesar's death, even Mark Antony, who was one of his...

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"A place in the commonwealth" describes Brutus's ideal vision for the Roman state. He wants Rome to remain a republic, where no one individual has too much power over the Senate and the masses. He believes everyone will benefit from Caesar's death, even Mark Antony, who was one of his staunchest supporters. Brutus shows how little self-interest he had in the murder by claiming he would kill himself for the common good, too, if it was deemed necessary.

This whole section is to show how idealistic and noble Brutus is. He is not ambitious, and he loved Caesar, unlike the other conspirators, particularly the jealous Cassius. He had every reason to not go through with the stabbing, but he put aside his own desires for the common welfare. He includes Antony in this vision, not just because he believes it to be so, but also to help sway Antony to his perspective. He wants to pacify everyone as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, this does not work once Antony takes the stand and explains Caesar's plans for helping the Roman people. Then, Brutus appears foolish and ignorant, and the people turn on the conspirators.

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'A place in the commonwealth' means that each and every citizen of Rome will have a share and a say in a fair, just and equal society - the idealized Roman republic which Brutus envisages and for the sake of which he killed Caesar, as he feared that Caesar might gain too much power at the expense of others. Brutus does everything for the sake of his political vision, his republican ideals where no one person can ever be allowed to have too much power. In this speech he says that even people like Antony, who seemed to be helping Caesar's rise to power, will now benefit from Caesar's elimination. He goes on to say that just as he killed Caesar for the greater good of the people, he would also be ready to kill himself if the public so desired it.This shows how passionately he believes in his own ideals; he is prepared to do anything in the interests of the greater good. However he is also extremely naive, expecting everyone else to rally to his cause.

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