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BALGOS, Markneel I.

November 28, 2018

The Noblest Roman of Them All

Antony really meant what he said about Brutus in Act 5, Scene 5. Brutus was really an

honorable and a noble man. Although what Antony said about Brutus being “honorable” and “noble”

in Caesar’s funeral seems ironic on Antony’s final words in the play, what Brutus did in this play shows

how noble Brutus is. Antony in his final words, came to praise Brutus, not to bury him.

We can describe a noble person in the Ancient Roman context as someone who stood for the

ideals of the Roman Republic. A noble Roman only thinks for the best of the Republic. In the case of

Brutus, he was considered noble because he did what he thought was right for the good of Rome, that

is, joining the conspirators in killing Caesar. Caesar’s ambition made Brutus think that this ambition

would be problematic for the future of the Republic, and thus joined Cassius and other conspirators.

Note here that these people have different motives on killing Caesar, but Brutus did it for the good of

the Republic. Here, Antony affirmed Brutus’ nobility but challenges Brutus’ argument of Caesar’s

ambition.1 At the end of the play, Brutus realized the mistakes he committed, and the moment he

realized it he took his own life. Brutus said “It is more worthy to leap in ourselves.”2 In this statement,

he showed his nobility by honoring Caesar and correcting his mistakes by killing himself more easily

than he had killed Caesar. He justified his death, and accepted death as part of his nobility. We can see

here how loyal he is to the Republic. Therefore, Antony recognized Brutus’ action and called him the

noblest Roman of them all.

Brutus killed Caesar, because of his honest intentions for the Republic. He made a wrong

decision, as Antony’s funeral speech affirms and at the same time challenges his nobility, and when the

people turned up against them. In the end, he killed himself, for the good of Rome, thus redeeming his

nobility. In the end, Brutus didn’t think of himself, but he still thought of the common good. Antony’s

final speech and his funeral speech highlighted Brutus’ character development. He described Brutus as

a superlative villain in the funeral speech, while Brutus was a superlative Roman at the final speech.

1
Julius Caesar, 3.2.80-98
2
Julius Caesar, 5.5.28