In this essay, we will discuss Brutus, the well-known hero in the tragedy Julius Caesar, written by English writer William Shakespeare. In the play, Brutus is portrayed and depicted as a man of principles and most importantly as the “noblest roman of them all”, yet he still possesses a fatal flaw which ultimately leads to his death. I believe that the fault which caused his downfall is a form of pride, more precisely vanity. It is ultimately vanity, disguised through the play as “honor” or as a sense of “nobility” that has caused the great Brutus to fall and thus to die.
Marcus Brutus was an honorable man. At every step of the story he tries to be as “honorable” as he can, constantly trying to prove himself worthy. Yet, he got lead on into a conspiracy by Cassius and the other conspirators. How could such an honorable man be lead into murdering his own best friend, Julius Caesar? The only way it could have happened is if Cassius and the conspirators took advantage of his infatuated idealism, and if Brutus would convince himself that the dishonorable action that he would undergo would be in fact honorable. In the first act, we can see that Brutus is in fact troubled. he is at ear with himself. This could be interpreted that Caesar coming into power troubles him. His vanity does not allow that someone could be the leader of Rome other than himself. He is led by Cassius to think that Rome will become a monarchy under the rule of Caesar, to which he does not try to contest, but silently acknowledging it since it comes as an excuse for the act that he will have to later do. Cassius indeed tries to “seduce” him, to bring him to his cause and he knows that he has to feed his vanity and his naiveté in order to do that. He then intends to take advantage of Brutus’s weakest point, hiss “honorable” concerns for Rome. We can clearly see Brutus’ flaw when he gets the fake letters from Cassius. Indeed, after reading the letters he decides to “strike”, and join the conspirators. However, it is only after deciding that he looks for an excuse as to why. Being too “honorable”, he feels the need to prove for himself his worthiness. He does not want to acknowledge the reality, his true nature and so he prefers appearing “ignorant”, and “innocent”, doing this act in the name of “honor” and the roman nation. This is seen when he refuses to swear when he is with the conspirators in the first scene of act two. He says that “honesty” is enough for romans such as them. Wh ythis need to appear this “sacred” and “pure”? Clearly, he wants to make appear their “act” as pure as possible, even though the act itself is gruesome and murder. We can also see that when he says that he wants to be looked as a sacrifice, not a butcher. After killing Caesar, we can also see his vanity come out when he lets Antony speak at the funeral. He chose not to rely on reason but on his own “baser” need, his pride. Was he concerned that Antony could be a better public speaker than him? Maybe so, and that is