Why does Caesar react as he does when he finds Brutus among the conspirators?

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mpenza | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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At the heart of the play Julius Caesar is the inner conflict that Brutus feels when he is asked to murder his trusted confidant for the good of Rome. Shakespeare spends a great deal of the early play establishing the relationship between Brutus and Caesar. Caesar trusts Brutus implicitly and talks to him about all manner of problems going on in Rome. Also, in the eyes of the people Brutus is beyond reproach of any kind. This is evident in the fact that Cassius begs/deceives Brutus into joining the conspirators for if Brutus joins the conspirators cause then it is likely that after Caesar has been killed the citizens of Rome will think that the Assassination was justified.  Caesars final words are “ And you Brutus/ Then Caesar dies” The reader/viewer can read this one of two ways: 1.) Caesar is dying and is just saying that after being stabbed so many times he will fall and die OR 2.) Caesar dies not only from the stab wounds but also gives up fighting because he realizes that he has been betrayed by the only person whom had his complete trust in this world. In fact some stage productions I have seen have Caesar fighting off the men with his hands until he sees Brutus and then he gives up. 

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