Throughout this play we split the characters and society of Rome into two sides, Epicurean’s and Stoic’s. Brutus undoubtedly fell under the category of stoic. This means he needed reasoning behind anything and everything that was said and done and he had a hard time being wrong. Not only was Brutus extremely stoic but he was all around just a good person. Which of course is a good thing, but it lead to him giving people way more credit then they deserve. This was most definitely apparent when he told the conspirators that the people of Rome would view the murder of Caesar as a sacrifice and what was best for them, but clearly they did not see it as that. They especially did not view the murder as a positive act after Brutus let Antony speak after him at the funeral of Caesar. This was of course one of Brutus’s biggest failures because these actions are what led the citizens of Rome to view Brutus and the rest of the conspirators in a very negative light.
Being trustworthy, absolute great quality to obtain. Very easily being able to trust others without a second thought, not so much. Brutus really struggled with this throughout the play. When Brutus found those “letters” on the window sill of his study, he did not seem to question them much at all. Even though they were in fact false letters, he of course did not know this, but you’d think that it was a little suspicious timing that those letters appeared at nearly the exact same time Cassius arrived at his door. He also was very eager to put his trust into all of the men that showed up at his house, despite the fact they arrived with their face covered. Yes, he did in fact have to put trust into these men if he wanted trust in return, but with the situation and the risks that were involved he should have been a little weary, at the very least skeptical. Thankfully he did invest his trust in the correct people this time, but it could have easily turned out for the worst.
With Brutus facing these “trust issues” i feel as though the only thing to blame is his altruistic personality. This play really was the tragedy of Brutus. He genuinely cared about the general good of Rome, that was the whole reasoning for his actions and he stayed true to this throughout the duration of the play. He just wanted what was truly best for others, but the people were just too blind to see that. To me this is almost a sad foreshadowing of how are reality is now. We need more selfless people like Brutus in the world today, but because of our money hungry driven society, it’s the shrewd contrivers that win the people’s votes. And because of this a lot of people fall under the more selfish side because they see how selfishness can amount to power in some cases.
Although Brutus was faced with many failures, and yes, there were many things he maybe should have done a little bit differently, there were many things he did so incredibly right.
Brutus was loved by the people of Rome. He was very well respected and he deserved the respect he received, he earned it. Because of this is wasn’t very hard for him to get people to listen and follow him. He always had valid reasoning behind every action he wanted to pursue and he could easily convince others that they should not only support these actions but be involved in them. An example of this was when the conspirators were in his home and he told them that they did not need to take an oath. By doing this he allowed the conspirators to put their full trust in him. He even had the people of Rome supporting his side at one point when Caesar was murdered, until he let Antony speak of course.
Yes you can look back at this play and say it was the tragedy of Brutus. But in the end he did accomplish his main goal. He killed Caesar, and he did for the good of Rome. He maybe should have done things a little differently but he was just staying true to what he believed was right the whole time and never lost sight of what was important. He never sank down to the level of shrewdness that was ever so apparent in this play and I believe that is an accomplishment that trumps all failures.