Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Brutus emerges as an intricate character as well as the play's catastrophic hero. Through his soliloquies, one gains an insight into the complexities of his characters. He is an influential public figure as well as a loving husband, a distinguished military leader, a master to his servants, and a friend (Shakespeare 12). His conflicting values battle with each other in his mind. Various questions are raised after he assassinates Caesar. One such question happens to be based on the light of his friendship with Caesar and whether the assassination is a noble act of selflessness or a callous evil act. One also wonders whether the act has happened as a result of foul indifference to the ties of friendship and failure to be moved by Caesar's power.
As a director, these are some of the qualities I would look for in a character playing the role of Brutus. The character acting this role ought to be idealistic. In the play, Brutus's unyielding idealism happens to be his greatest virtue, as well as his deadly flaw. Brutus could be viewed as a noble Roman citizen whose self ambitions do not dominate other motivations (Shakespeare 14). Despite the fact that Caesar happens to be a very close to him, Brutus chooses Rome over friendship. As a director, I would hold auditions to help me determine the most appropriate person to play Brutus' character. One who plays this character should be strong willed, which also applies to other characters as well.
Brutus seems to have naive idealism as shown in several instances. His commitment to the course leads to various miscalculations. In an effort to curtail violence, he ignores the advice given by Cassius to allow the conspirators to kill Antony (Shakespeare 65). He disregards Cassius once more by allowing him to speak at Caesar's funeral. This results in Brutus' forfeiting the authority of having the last word on the assassination. Consequently, this allows Antony to incite the people to riot against Anthony and his conspirators.
The character of Brutus should also appear confused. This would go in line with the part of Brutus who seems to be torn between his love for Rome and his love for Caesar. He admits to having been at war with himself to Cassius. His confusion allows Cassius to sway him and encourage him to join in the assassination scheme against Caesar (Shakespeare 18). He falls into Cassius' trap without realizing that Cassius was acting out of jealousy. Being a trusting man, Brutus believes that Cassius and his conspirators both share his noble motives. Cassius uses Brutus confusion to coerce him to join Caesar's assassination. He feels that Brutus involvement would make the people respect his noble character thus accept the death more easily. Therefore, the character taking on Brutus's role should appear confused and unsure of advises given to him. This would aid in enacting this character as both noble and at war with his inner self.
Brutus could also be referred to as a stoic character. Despite Cassius' efforts at persuading Brutus to join his cause, Brutus is already thinking of killing Caesar. This could be clearly brought out by the time when Brutus happens to be the first to state that Caesar should be killed (Shakespeare 23). He believes that once Caesar accepts the crown offered by Antony, he would become harsh and stingy. He believes that only his death would save him from such danger and agony. This character happens to be portrayed during his wife's death. Although they seem to be close, Brutus does not weep over her death. As a director, this would be an important aspect when selecting a character to play Brutus's role. The character should appear to be stoic and callous. This would let the character to have a different view of all the circumstances that happen around his life.
The character should also be an optimist. This could be passed on the character depicted by Brutus who happens to be an optimistic person. He only sees the good in others thus underestimating the threat that others pose. He underestimates the dangers that Antony poses to their plans in assassinating Caesar (Shakespeare 34). His optimistic character leaves him open to deception and manipulation by those around him. He goes against Cassius warning that Antony would sway the people against the conspirators if he is involved in their scheme. Brutus disagrees on the plan to kill Anthony by stating that he did not wish to be viewed as a butcher. After the assassination, Brutus thinks that he could use logical words in persuading Anthony to join in their cause. Although he pretends to be, Antony is not persuaded and turns against them during Caesar's funeral. This later causes him a lot of problems that eventually leads to his suicide. This is the most important character while making a film on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It would allow the viewers to understand the reasons toward the tragic death of Brutus, who happens to be noble to the cause that would save the entire Roman Empire. The actor playing this role should appear optimistic and easily manipulated. This would make his other actions easy to be performed as Brutus.
Brutus could also be considered as heroic. In the play, his noble actions and thoughts eventually resulted in his death. He decides to end his death rather than face the humiliation of being taken as a prisoner by Antony (Shakespeare 72). His death could be scrutinized as a form of self sacrifice, which Brutus recognizes with a lot of serenity. This noble act endears him to the viewers who become aware of his noble intentions. Even his enemy, Antony, states this as he stands over his lifeless body. Such a role should be given to a character that would leave a lot of questions to the audience. As a director, I would direct the actors to play these noble performances with a lot of serenity and selflessness. At the end of the play, the characters would leave the audience with a lot of questions such as whether Brutus is indeed an honorable man or just a murderer cruel enough to kill his best friend. Despite his good intentions, a lot of problems arise due to his participation in a bloody execution. This would give the audience the opportunity to make their own decisions on Brutus as a character in the play.