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Word Count: 965
Julius Caesar provided a unique opportunity for Shakespeare to represent a well-known story of a public figure whose life and death enormously affected the future of his nation and it citizens Caesars life could serve as a reflection on the prevailing worries about monarchal leadership while dipping into questions of public and private life of leaders and studying the famously conflicted rationales of Caesars murderers From the moment the conspirators pulled their swords from Caesars body their reasons for killing him were debated and documented with various spins some accounts portraying Caesars killers as heroes and others like Dante damning them to the deepest pit of hell Shakespeares account focuses largely on Brutus internal conflicts between his loyalty to Caesar and to Rome between his belief about what Rome should be and what it had become He struggles to decide whether the demands of civic responsibility prevail over the ties of personal loyalty Caesar focuses on the lives of the great men circulating among several characters with the title character playing a smaller role than might be imagined Brutus is most fully drawn of them Unlike other characters he appears in several roles throughout he play as public figure as private man as military leader as husband Brutus painful conflicts come from this overlap of roles -- his role in the assassination of Caesar seems more wrenching because of his intimacy with the man His actions suggest either that he must not be acting out of self-interest if he loves Caesar or contrarily that he is too insensitive to the claims of friendship Thus his internal conflict becomes debate for the audience is Brutus right or wrong At no point is he confirmed to have acted correctly or incorrectly Antony may praise him at the end as the noblest of Romans but we cant help feeling that Cassiuss tricks may have made him the most misled of Romans Inflexibility and an inability to recognize the
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