Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare

Journal 3

9. "And just as one can speak of Caesar’s hubris, so one can speak of Brutus’: Brutus is proud of his integrity and confident of his statesmanship and of his military ability, yet he is putty in Cassius’ hands, and as a general he plays into Octavius’ hands. But the nobility of his mind is scarcely called into question. In the second scene Cassius can manipulate Brutus precisely because Brutus is noble" (Mizener).

From the previous quote, hubris was defined as excessive pride or arrogance. Brutus of course was proud as any general of stature would be, but I wouldn’t say it was excessive. Sure he’s a noble man and Cassius takes advantage of that, but he was a reason to be noble. He’s one of the most powerful men in the country, or in the world according to Rome (aside from Caesar). Brutus’ ancestors drove out the kings that had ruled before. He had reasons to be honored and honorable. Cassius knows this much to well, and plays upon that. As the quote suggests, "yes he is putty in Cassius’ hands." That is very true. He lets Cassius manipulate him, and plant seeds in his head, ideas that he might not have thought of himself. Though after Cassius’ plan is done with, Brutus believes that he came up the idea to kill Caesar himself, and not from Cassius’ doing. When Cassius is planting these thoughts in Brutus’ mind, he says, "honor is the subject of my story." So Brutus thinks that all this is revolved around him being an honorable man. How him of all people should kill Caesar because of his honor. And also how Brutus should be loyal to his family and continue the legacy of a Republic. Brutus takes in these two points and makes up his mind to kill Caesar. There is not doubt about it because at the beginning of Act two, Scene one, in his soliloquy he states, "It must be by his death." The "must" means absolutely.

Later in the same scene, all the conspirators come to his house to discuss their plan of action one final time before it is followed through. Brutus tells everyone he’s in and when he says is, he means it. There is no turning back from that point on. It is the pivotal point of the story and sets up everything that will happen later on. This is where another one of Brutus’ weaknesses is revealed. He doesn’t like too much blood. One of the conspirators asks is they should kill anyone else besides Caesar. Cassius says, "Let Antony and Caesar fall together." Brutus then says without Caesar Antony will have no power so there is no need to kill him. There is his one big mistake because guess who comes to kill Brutus later? Would his name be Antony?