Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Whether Brutus should have conspired against Caesar.

          “These conspiracies were not the work of the worst men, but of the noblest, most high-spirited, and most courageous, because such men are least able to brook the insolence of princes.” Though written some two hundred years before the death of Julius Caesar, the Greek historian Polybius noted that tyranny would cause noble men to rise up against them. As a noble man, Brutus should have conspired against Caesar for three reasons: the expediency of the conspiracy, the character of Caesar, and the character of Brutus himself.

     The first reason why Brutus should have conspired against Caesar is that the conspiracy to kill Caesar was expedient. Simply exiling Caesar was not enough to free Rome from his ambitions, as he might return once again in force and plunge Rome into yet another civil war. Also, death was a common penalty for those who plotted to replace the Republic with a monarch, so Caesar’s death was just. Finally, Cassius, known as a very shrewd and cunning Roman, organized and initiated the conspiracy against Caesar, and increased the likelihood of its success. Therefore, Brutus should have conspired against Caesar.

     The second reason why Brutus should have conspired against Caesar is that the character of Caesar demanded it. Caesar had already demonstrated his ambitions by marching on Rome in spite of the laws forbidding it. Further, he retained in his services Mark Antony, a violent, manipulative, and ruthless figure. Lastly, Caesar showed contempt for the people’s duly elected Tribunes by punishing them for their actions at the feast of Lupercal. Therefore, Brutus should have conspired against Caesar.

     The third reason why Brutus should have conspired against Caesar is that the character of Brutus himself demanded his participation. Brutus’ family honor demanded his participation because his ancestor Junius Brutus helped drive out the last king of Rome. Secondly, Brutus loved the Republic in his own right, and had already served in the Senate. Finally, Brutus was not afraid of dying for the sake of doing the right thing. Therefore, Brutus should have conspired against Caesar.

     Thus, Brutus should have conspired against Caesar because of the expediency of the conspiracy, the character of Caesar, and the character of Brutus himself.

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