Let’s be Frank. Let’s talk Brutus. Shakespeare’s Brutus.
Because a prank was played on me due to my strong feelings on the matter. :)
Brutus. This is a guy who whinges and whines about how he HAD to do the noble thing and kill Caesar, a man who trusted him and protected him through dark times. And oh, how Brutus suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous guilt. Okay.
But I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. The guilt, yes, but Brutus’s guilt isn’t about doing the noble thing. It’s about the ignoble reason.
Think about it. Put yourself in the man’s place. In a toga with clean cotton knickers.
You’re hanging around, being Brutus. And suddenly you’re let in on this conspiracy at the last moment. About 40 senators are going to kill Caesar, do you want in?
Now ask yourself. What’s going on here?
If Brutus says no, he won’t help them–Caesar still dies. And when it comes to divvying up the wealth, the honor, the power, Brutus is left out. Because he didn’t work that stab. More than that. If Brutus says no, his loyalty is in question. He could lose his life.
Now. If Brutus says yes, he’ll kill Caesar with them–he saves his life, his land, his power. And Caesar still dies.
Both ways, Caesar dies. So did Brutus kill Caesar for reasons of honor? Or to protect himself.
Seriously. I cannot esteem murder for the sake of self-preservation–even if I can understand it. But don’t ask me to act like Brutus was noble for doing that. He was saving his hide.
Not even Shakespeare can convince me otherwise, and not even feeling Brutus’s pain can change that.
And apparently I can talk about this at length, and yes, I may have forced a bunch of students to re-enact Caesar’s death so that I could make my point. I may have also made Caesar stand again because I (Brutus) hadn’t yet killed him.
So apparently the students found this funny. Apparently.
Because one day, after coincidentally going to see the play, I come into my office to see this:
Brutus Got Yo’ Back