after act 5: critical response

Throughout the play we met and learnt a lot about several different characters. We learned their mannerisms, how they treat people, and their strengths and weaknesses. The character that we learnt about most in-depth was Marcus Brutus. We learned a lot about his strengths and weaknesses and the effect that they have on him and on the people around him.

In my opinion Brutus’ greatest strength is his selflessness and willingness to do anything necessary to fight for what he believes in. ┬áThese two characteristics helped him be successful in his fight against Julius Caesar, then Octavius Caesar and Marc Antony. If he did not fight hard and stay loyal to the cause he believed in he would not have been able to accomplish what he did. Another strong quality of Brutus’ is that he is held in high regard of the citizens of Rome and the people close to him. This quality helped to lead him to success because it made it possible for him to have people join him and fight alongside him for his cause. The following that he had and the trust that his friends had in him was a very large reason he was as successful as he was, and put up as big of a fight as he did.

With all of the success he had he still ended up getting defeated in the end. As tragic as this was and as great as Brutus is he still has lots of weaknesses that contributed to that big failure, and all of the small ones along the way. His biggest strength of selflessness is also one of his biggest weaknesses. Since he is always concerned with the common good he tends to not deal with his own issues, he just lets them progressively build up. This lead to failure because although selflessness is very important it shouldn’t be all-consuming, and if Brutus had thought about himself a little bit more he would have been so much more successful. This weakness also compromises some of his relationships, such as his one with Portia. ┬áBrutus left to help the common good meanwhile Portia was at home going mad in his absence, if he were to think of his own relationship even a little bit that could have been avoidable.

Brutus is a very strong character with a personality and values that many people share with him. Many of his strengths and weaknesses reminds us of our own similar ones. His way of viewing everyone as equals is a huge strength and something that almost everyone tries to do everyday. The fight for equality right now in our world is a very pressing issue and we saw Brutus join this fight when he told Portia to get up off her knees to speak to him so that he wasn’t talking down on her. It also reminds us of our weaknesses that we share with him. Such as letting all of our problems build up inside of us. This is very relate-able among many people because it is such a common thing that we as human beings do. We let our problems build up inside of us until we can’t handle it anymore and begin to act out because of them, which is exactly what we see Brutus do in the play on many occasions. One of these being when he is around Portia and she senses something is bothering him and gets him to talk to her about, or at least try.

With important characters like Brutus we get attached to them and feel things for them. We feel good things towards them, but we also pity them and feel regret for them. The biggest instance of this happening was during the battle and Cassius’ death. We pity Brutus because he lost his most loyal friend, and he will no longer be able to win the battle. Then we feel regret because Cassius’ death could have been so avoidable, and without his death our beloved Brutus would also still be alive.

The end of the play was difficult for me as the audience because there were so many things that could have been easily fixed so that Brutus and Cassius were victorious. It was hard to lose such an amazing character as Brutus but he wouldn’t have been himself without his strengths and weaknesses, they make him who he is. So in the end everything happened exactly how it should have and Brutus died the way he was supposed to and stuck with his character until the very end.

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