Julius Caesar – Rise to Prominence
It was 44 B.C. and two men had very different views on the future for Rome, one a leader and one a protector. Both men were in high positions of honor and had great ideas for the city rising to success but neither of them would live to see their visions through. Marcus Brutus was a respected but naive man with sincere intentions for Rome and Julius Caesar was a general rising to power. On one hand, Marcus Brutus had good intentions, however; his means of achieving them were gravely flawed. On the other hand, Julius Caesar, hungry for power and approval by the citizens, had been too arrogant which dangerously affected his future. Neither man knew what was due to come. In the play, The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare writes about the pivotal moments in which two very well respected and important men cause their own demise. Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus are powerful men whose tragic endings are caused by their differing intentions and faulty traits Character and outlook are two traits that define a character. In the situation of Brutus and Caesar, these are traits that they differ to a great extent and when all is said and done ends up being a key factor in their fall out of power.
Marcus Brutus was a politically noble man that followed what he considered to be right and genuinely did what he thought was best for the citizens of Rome, however; he was too trusting. His honorable ideals led him to be manipulated and ultimately turned out to be his fatal flaw. Caesar was a Roman general and statesman that was exceptionally bright and clever. His political talents are somewhat the reasons he became such a successful ruler but his arrogance ultimately caused his demise. Brutus’ and Caesars’ character is portrayed as very different. This is shown when the conspirators ask for Ceasar to allow Metellus Cimber for enfranchisement, he replies, “I am constant as the northern star,/ Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality/ There is no fellow in the firmament” (3.1.66-68). This quote demonstrates Caesar's character in how he arrogant he is. He views himself as supreme leader and is furious they would even ask. His arrogance, for example, is shown right before he and Decius head to the Senate, Decius explains how someone else will take the crown if he didn't go. While Caesar is still considering to stay home for Calpurnia, Decius adds that he would lose public regard if he was influenced so easily by a woman.
Whereas Caesar was arrogant, yet cunning and generous, Brutus was known to be honorable. Even Marc Antony, a man who he betrayed, had said, “This was the noblest Roman of them all:/All the conspirators, save only he,/Did that they did in envy of great Caesar” ( citation)this signifies even though he wronged Antony, his character is still seen as honorable. Brutus’ honorability is shown when the conspiracy is formed. Brutus believes that all the men there are honorable so he decides not to take an oath. Overall, Caesar and Brutus were both respectable and admirable but Caesar's arrogance damaged his credibility and in spite of the fact that Brutus was honorable, he was too trusting which led him to be manipulated into doing something he would regret. Both Caesar’s and Brutus’ personalities seem to influence their intentions regarding Rome. Caesar wants the power to rule Rome as he pleases, whereas Brutus wants to save Rome and for it to be safe and prosperous. For instance, Caesar is offered the crown three times before he faints on the stage. Not because he does not want the crown, but because he wants the rabblement to want him unconditionally. Before the conspiracy was formed and Cassius had not manipulated Brutus, Brutus was worried for the sake of Rome. Brutus was anxious that Caesar would rise to power and lose his humility and become what Cassius says he will.
In his garden, Brutus construes himself, “Then lest he may, prevent/And, therefore, think him as a serpents egg/When hatched, would his kind grow mischievous” (2.1.26-34) this quote shows me how Brutus truly feels towards Caesar coming to power because there is no one for him to lie to but himself. After Cassius’ manipulation, Brutus truly feels as though he must kill Caesar to save Rome. Caesar, however; has no intentions on trying to save Rome. Caesar is an egotistic yet brave guy that fears nothing but losing power. When Calpurnia is worried about Caesar he tells her, “Cowards die many times before their deaths,/The valiant never taste of death but once.” (2.1.32-33) this signifies how brave he really is and does not waste precious hours of his life anticipating what could or could not happen. However, this also demonstrates how sure he is that he would not die which soon proves to be fatally wrong. At this point, Caesar and Brutus had dangerously affected their futures. Caesar's arrogance and Brutus’ means of achieving his goals end up being their fatal flaws.
Caesar’s and Brutus’ intentions regarding Rome lead them to both of their deaths and both at the hands of Brutus. On March 15th, 44 B.C Julius Caesar was killed on the steps of the senate-house after the conspirators asked for the enfranchisement of Metellus Cimber, and being too arrogant to allow it. Seconds later, as he sees his death is at the hands of his friend he mutters, “et tu brute”, signifying, and you, Brutus? Ironically, two years later on October 23, Marcus Brutus kills himself after the defeat at the second battle of Philippi. While Brutus is talking with Strato, he says, “ Caesar, now be still;/ I killed not thee with half so good a will” (5.5.50-51) this quote demonstrates how Brutus wants to kill himself more than he wanted to kill Caesar. Brutus' final words assure that what he does now is twice as pure as what he did to Caesar, who is avenged by this act. Although at the time killing, Caesar seems like the only way to achieve his goal, he now sees he made a mistake. Caesar, however, was not afraid of death and was, perhaps, maybe a little too brave about it. This is shown when Caesar says, Of all the wonders that I have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come (Act II, Scene 2) This demonstrates Caesar”s true feeling towards death and his views on the necessary end. He believes only cowards would actually fear their own demise; he is not a coward.
For instance, when Brutus kills Caesar, Caesar says “et tu brute” which signifies that although he is not scared he is completely confused about the betrayal of one of his closest friends. To summarize, Ceasar and Brutus both have a tragic ending at the hands of Brutus that was ultimately caused by arrogance and naivete. To conclude, Caesar and Brutus are two influential men in positions of power, whose tragic, fatal and disturbing endings are caused by their conflicting intentions and defective traits. Brutus is an honorable man that was manipulated by his brother-in-law due to his naivete. Brutus wanted the best for Rome but in the end would never see his ideas become reality. Caesar is a brave and generous man fighting for the common people. His intentions may have been flawed but he ultimately was an honorable man that did not deserve his tragic ending.