Tuesday, 13 February 2018

How does Brutus in his soliloquy justify Caesars murder?

At a sleepless night, Brutus in a soliloquy (Act II, Scene I) reviews his reasons for joining the conspiracy to murder Caesar. He starts his soliloquy with the words, ‘It must be by his death’. He means to say that his purpose can be achieved only through the assassination of Caesar. Brutus then admits that he has no personal cause to hate 

Caesar; he is being prompted wholly by his thoughts of the welfare of the common people. Caesar, he says, wishes to be crowned a king. If Caesar becomes a king, his very nature would change, and he would soon become a dictator. A great man always tends to become dictatorial because the possession of power and authority weakens his capacity to feel sympathy for others. In the beginning an ambitious man behaves in a humble manner, but once his ambition has been fulfilled he becomes proud and arrogant. Brutus then compares Caesar to a serpent’s egg from which only a serpent can come out. And so, to prevent Caesar from becoming dangerous like a serpent, it is necessary to kill him. But the fallacy in his reasoning is that Caesar is to be killed not for what he has done but for what he may do and in fact, Caesar as a king could hardly have any more absolute power than he has at the moment.

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