Which reason does Brutus give to justify killing Caesar?    

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Brutus offers the audience insight into what motivates him to join the conspirators in assassinating Julius Caesar in act 2, scene 1. When Lucius exits, Brutus contemplates murdering Caesar and begins by mentioning that he has no personal grievances against Caesar. Brutus then wonders how attaining ultimate authority might alter Caesar's behavior. Brutus also questions Caesar's ambition and admits that he has never witnessed Caesar's emotions get the better of him. Brutus then reveals the reason he will join the conspirators by saying,

Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented, Would run to these and these extremities. And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg—Which, hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous—And kill him in the shell (Shakespeare, 2.1.30-34).

Essentially, Brutus is saying that in order to prevent Caesar from ruling Rome as a tyrant, he must kill Caesar before Caesar gets the opportunity to rule as a tyrant and allows his ambition to negatively affect his behavior.

Brutus also justifies assassinating Caesar just before Mark Antony gives his funeral oration. Brutus tells the masses that in killing Caesar, he was doing the Roman populace a favor by preventing the rise of a future tyranny. Brutus reveals his honorable intentions by telling the crowd,

With this I depart: that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my death (Shakespeare, 3.2.42-44).

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Brutus justifies killing Caesar on the grounds that Caesar would become a king. In his soliloquy in the opening scene of Act II, Brutus describes his former friend as a "serpent's egg/ Which hatch'd would as his kind grow mischievous." Brutus says in the same soliloquy that he has no "personal cause" to kill Caesar. After the deed is done, Brutus observes, "ambition's debt is paid," a theme he repeats in his speech to the people of Rome. He says Caesar was his friend, but that "as he was ambitious, I slew him." Essentially, Brutus fears Caesar will, by virtue of his exploits and popularity, name himself king of Rome, overthrowing the Republic Brutus feels honor-bound to protect. Caesar was Brutus's close friend, but he was a threat to Rome and Roman liberties, so Brutus killed him. Rome, he assures the crowd, comes before his personal feelings. Some of the assassins had ulterior motives, but Brutus acted from a sense of patriotic duty.

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