Was Brutus right?
Brutus was considered as a noble man. Although he was Caesar’s best friend he was forced to examine his conscience closely over the assassination of a man he loved and respected. Brutus believed in the Republic as the best form of government. Because of his love for Rome, he allowed himself to be drawn into the plot to kill Caesar, by Cassius. Brutus acted in what he thought were the best interests of Rome.
The only way that Brutus could become leader was to kill Caesar. This was because in those days, the only way a leader could retire was either if they died, or someone killed them.
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In Roman times, the people were probably quite proud of their form of government and Caesar was not thought of too badly by the ordinary people. Therefore, his killing would have shocked them.
As we see earlier in the play, the people of Rome were easily swayed; they followed anything that moved. This is shown when Caesar comes back after defeating Pompey in a war, and the crowd immediately accepted Caesar as they leader, as opposed to before Pompey’s death, when they were all followers of Pompey.
After knowing how the people reacted to Pompey’s death, we can relate this to Caesar and Brutus. In this case, Caesar is just like Pompey and Brutus is just like Caesar, as they were also good friends.
On the day of Caesar’s funeral, Brutus delivered a speech to justify the murder and to get everyone to his side. He left the Senate after achieving what he intended to do, and at that point, everyone had accepted him to be their leader. But soon the people of Rome had turned against Brutus. This was because Antony told them in his speech that a murder was a murder and that they should avenge Caesar’s death.
I think the people would have been shocked and saddened by what happened to their favourite. They would realise that the country was now going to be put in a ‘civil war’ situation, which could only be bad for ordinary Romans. I think that they would have largely been uninterested in the principles of Brutus and would have been more worried about the uncertain future and would have blamed Brutus and his fellow conspirators for this.
If the murder of Caesar was committed in the Elizabethan times, people had become used to rulers who had met sudden deaths at the hands of other would be rulers. Often these rulers had ruled badly and the people may have felt that they deserved all they got. Therefore, I don’t think that the murder of Caesar would have upset the Elizabethans as much as it did for the people in the Roman times.
I think that the Elizabethans would have accepted Brutus as their leader after they were led to believe that Brutus intentions to kill Caesar were correct. This did happen in the play, until Antony came into the picture.
I don’t think that the people would want the chaos of having a civil war, because it created more problems, which is exactly what happened in the play when Antony promised to avenge Caesar’s death in a civil war.