Morality In Brutus

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Brutus Versus Himself
Morality is the subjective view of that which is ethically right and which is ethically wrong. During the Elizabethan time period, there was a great split in the general perception of what people viewed as right and viewed as wrong, especially when comparing the upper and the lower classes. Many artists and playwrights based their work upon these ideas and gave their own social commentary on things. In the great tragedy Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare uses the character of Brutus along with Caesar in order to depict the the struggle of morality of man as well as the relationship between fate versus free will of humanity.
Shakespeare was one of the if not the most popular playwrights from the Elizabethan time period.
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It often causes an internal conflict within a person and puts a great deal of stress upon them. From the very beginning of the play, Brutus tells his friend of his internal moral compass becoming lost and Cassius takes advantage of that. Through a series of forged letters Cassius claims to be from the Roman people and his own goading at Brutus to eventually trick Brutus into believing that his closest friend, Caesar, will soon become a tyrant. He claims that, “Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, I have not slept Between the acting of a dreadful thing and the first notion, all the interim is Like a phantasma...” (2. 1. 61-63.) The idea of killing his best friend, Caesar, for what Cassius portrayed as the good of the republic is an absolute shock to Brutus. He can not pinpoint how he feels about these thoughts and and the actions that this would demand. It is the effect, the insomnia and how upset his thoughts are causing him to be that truly displays the struggle of personal ethics as…show more content…
Brutus puts on this veil of nationalistic pride in front of all of his friends when they discuss the plot against Caesar. They all love seeing this from the leader of their small rebellion, however, “Brutus, of course, isn’t so firm as he appears to his co-conspirators.” (Kahn) Brutus is the one who calls for the murder of Caesar, but he seems to be the most bothered by it. In his mind he can not personally advocate for the assassination of his best friend, this can be seen through lines of dialogue such as: “Caesar must bleed for it. And the gentle friends, Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully.” (2. 1. 171-172.) He may call out for the murder of Caesar but he asks them to not kill him with anger or resentment. He claims his reasoning behind this is so that the plebeians will not see their actions as evil or misconstrue their intentions. The real reason, however, is that Brutus does not believe killing his friend is the right thing to do, but if it benefits the country and saves them from an evil tyrant then it is the correct course of action no matter his feelings. Brutus believed that the good of the republic came before his own
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