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Character of Brutus in Julius Caesar: Traits & Analysis

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  • 0:03 Brutus & Trust
  • 0:55 Character Analysis & Traits
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Expert Contributor
Jenna Clayton

Jenna received her BA in English from Iowa State University in 2015, and she has taught at the secondary level for three years.

Brutus is one of the central characters in the play 'Julius Caesar' written by William Shakespeare. Brutus' character is complex, and he is often thought of as a tragic hero. Learn more about the character Brutus from the play 'Julius Caesar' and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Brutus and Trust

How do you know who you can trust? How do you know who will remain loyal to you and support your success? Do you know who your real friends are? These are often the questions many of us think of when we develop close friendships or relationships, and these are the questions Julius Caesar should have asked about the people closest to him. If he had, it might have saved his life.

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is about the assassination of Julius Caesar. The plot to kill Julius Caesar is first organized by some of his close friends, including his close friend and servant Brutus, whom Caesar deeply trusted and believed to be honorable. If Brutus had not agreed to play a role in the assassination of Caesar, the plot to kill him might not have worked.

Character Analysis and Traits

Brutus is known as a tragic hero in the play Julius Caesar because he faces a major conflict between his loyalty to his friend and his loyalty to his country. Although Brutus' relationship with Caesar is strong, his relationship with the people of Rome is stronger. Brutus loves Julius Caesar as a friend but does not want anyone to become so powerful that they are able to become a dictator over the people of Rome.

Brutus has strong support for the people of Rome and does not want them to lose their power. Because Caesar's enemies know about Brutus' sense of honor for his country, they are able to manipulate him into going along with their plan to kill Caesar. Brutus agrees to kill Caesar because he believes it will be best for the country, while the other men want to kill Caesar because of envy and jealousy.

Brutus is a complex character. He has always been thought of as honorable and noble. He has strict moral and ethical beliefs that guide his life and guide his desire to protect the people of Rome, but he appears hypocritical when he becomes involved in the plot to commit murder.

Brutus

Because of Brutus' honorable reputation, others join in the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar because they trust Brutus' character. It is Brutus' honorable nature that causes him to fall victim to the manipulation of Cassius, Antony, and the other conspirators. When he reads letters supposedly written by Roman citizens, he is too naïve to see that the language used in the letters were likely written by Cassius.

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Additional Activities

Brutus from Julius Caesar Activities

Persuasive Essay

For this assignment, you are going to write a persuasive essay based on your opinion of the following question:

Do you think Julius Caesar would have been killed if Brutus had not been involved in the conspiracy to kill him? Why or why not? Explain with details from Shakespeare's play.

First, you need to choose your position. Once you have determined your position, you need to create a plan or outline for your essay. Below is an example of the information needed in the outline. Keep in mind that you may have more main points and more supporting details. However, it is best to have at least three main points and at least 2-3 supporting details per main point.

I. Introduction

  • Hook/Attention-Grabber
  • Thesis Statement

II. Body Paragraphs

  • Main point/reason
  1. Supporting detail
  2. Supporting detail
  3. Supporting detail
  • Main point/reason
  1. Supporting detail
  2. Supporting detail
  3. Supporting detail
  • Main point/reason
  1. Supporting detail
  2. Supporting detail
  3. Supporting detail

III. Conclusion

  • Summarize main points
  • Re-state thesis statement

Once you have completed your outline, write your rough draft. Then, proofread, revise, and edit your rough draft. Once your piece is polished, you are ready to publish or turn-in your persuasive essay about Brutus' importance in the murder of Julius Caesar.

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