Brutus: Misrepresented Liberator of Rome, or Arch-Traitor?

Marcus Junius Brutus is a name that has come down through history as being synonymous with unexpected betrayal. Dante- in his Divine Comedy portrays Brutus as being in the lowest pit of the hell, devoured in the mouth of Satan. He was however a far more complex character, and even William Shakespeare, in his play The Death of Julius Caesar, portrays him as a man torn by his duty to his country and his duty to his friend and benefactor – Caesar.

Brutus’ monologues and conversations are by far the longest of all the characters – which suggests that the play was really about Brutus, not Caesar. So Brutus is a figure of history that has been twisted and manipulated by emperors and kings to justify their own power, and also by democratic republics as a martyr to the ideals of freedom. But the real story of Brutus is more complex, more human and deserving of a deeper exploration.

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