Brutus’s soliloquy justifies Caesar’s murder

The justification for Caesar’s murder plays an important role in the play Julius Caesar (1599) written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). We see this soliloquy in the first scene of the second act. We know that Caesar is the best friend of Brutus. But he joined to murder Caesar. After murdering Caesar, he cannot sleep. He is broken by a bitter conflict. Then he tries to justify Caesar’s murder.  

More Notes: Julius Caesar

No personal grievances 

In his justification firstly he says that he has no personal grievances against Caesar. He killed only Caesar for the welfare of the people. He says that if Caesar is the king, the people of Rome will be lost their happiness and peace. So, he killed Caesar for the purpose of the general welfare of Rome. He says: 

—for my part. 

I know no personal cause to spurn at him 

But for the general. 

This shows that Brutus has nothing definite against Caesar at the time of the conspiracy. 

More Notes: Suggestions

Concerned about Caesar’s ambition 

Brutus was concerned about Caesar’s high aspirations. He does not find anything against Caesar. But he is afraid of Caesar’s ambition. If he becomes the king he may change and become a tyrant. Caesar may become vain when he is the most powerful man.  So, Brutus wants to prevent his probable change and he decides to murder Caesar. Brutus says: 

He would be crown’d, 

How that may change his nature, that’s the question. 

It is true of human nature that ambitious people can do whatever it takes to reach their goals and once they reach the goal, they show their colors. 

In short, Brutus justifies Caesar’s assassination thus:  

We cannot kill Caesar for what he is. Let us, therefore, kill him for what he might be one day.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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