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Julius Caesar

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Introduction

Regardless of the rationale behind it, committing a wrongful act has its unseen consequences. Whether the outcome was intentional or not, the events that take place following a crime do not justify the means by which the act was carried out. This is accurately portrayed in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Often, what one sets out to do is not what one accomplishes. Marcus Brutus was a close friend of Julius Caesar. He was a noble and honourable man who took pride in his morals. Cassius states, when the conspirators meet, that: "...no man here But honours you, and every one doth wish You had but that opinion of yourself Which every noble Roman bears of you." Brutus' personal opinion and ethical beliefs played a large part in his decision to join the conspirators in their cause. He loves Caesar, but fears his increasing power, and truly believes that the assassination will be for the good of Rome. "It must be by his death, and for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him, But for the general. He would be crowned. How that might change his nature, there's the question... The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins, Remorse from power... That lowliness is young ambitions ladder... ...read more.

Middle

Our hearts see you not. They are pitiful, And pity to the general wrong of Rome ..." In his explanatory speech to the commoners, Brutus begins with "Romans, countrymen...", appealing to their consciousness as citizens of Rome, who, he later says, will benefit as free men from Caesar's death. He claims that it is "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." He then asks rhetorically if the people would want to live their lives as slaves under Caesar's rule or if they would prefer to live as free men with Caesar dead. To anyone insulted by his speech he inquires, "Who is here so base that would be a bondman?" He stresses the point, repeating the line, "If any, speak, for him have I offended." and then, "I pause for a reply." Through this, Brutus allows the commoners to respond to his rhetorical questions, giving them an even greater sense that he cares about them and their opinions. They can only respond, " None, Brutus, none." Brutus' actions seem justified in his speech, yet the crowd is easily swayed by Antony's speech that follows. The people now realize that Caesar's death was not valid, and Brutus must flee Rome. Brutus went from having the commoners' complete respect and fully accomplishing his goal, to the people turning on him and entirely reversing his progress. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even more dramatic tyranny breaks out, including a civil war between Brutus' and Antony's armies. Cassius, under the wrong impression about his friend Titinius, commits suicide. Brutus follows soon after when he realizes there is no hope that his army will win. It is in this way that the play ends tragically. These events were results of his actions, which all started with allowing Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral. If Brutus had had better judgement in that situation and listened to Cassius, the cruelty that came after it would never have occurred. William Shakespeare had a great understanding of human experiences. In the course of the play, he illustrated to the reader that one's intentions do not always amount to a continuation of what they expect to accomplish. Shakespeare also gave the audience morals about right and wrong and acting upon one's opinion. He showed that one should not bring death to another based on their personal desires, or what they believe is in the best interest of their society, for they are only one person out of the many who have a voice. One can expect that the consequences of doing will include being punished by those who were hurt by the actions, whether they were justified or not. ...read more.

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