The last words of Ceasar in Julius Ceasar are supposed to be “Et Tu, Brute.” Or is it something that William Shakespeare just wanted us to believe. The creation of Caesar’s last words by Shakespeare has received worldwide popularity. The style of ‘The Tragedy of Julius Caeser’ was appreciated by all like every other literary import of William Shakespeare.
The famous literary phrase “Et Tu, Brute?” was used to express shock at betrayal. The Roman historian writer Plutarch of the “life of Ceaser” and Suetonius of the “life of Brutus” said that the inspiration of “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” came from the above mentioned famous historical fictions.
A little insight into history
A famous general of Rome army, Gaius Julius Caesar, brought victory in the civil war in 49 BC. His victory removed Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, both his chief political and military rival. This also gave full powers in the hands of Caesar. It cleared the path for him to get all the dictatorial forces. Ceaser being a dictator, had powers of de jure Chief Executive and Military Commander of Rome, which were brought into practice. The legal office of dictatorship also granted him the skills to rule by decree and to wield unilateral judicial power. As a result of this, the balance of political power shifted from the Senate, Rome’s political elite, to entirely in the hands of Caeser.
Caeser wanted to rule the entire kingdom and wanted to dismantle the Roman Public. In around 509 BC, brought the people of Roman to vote to overthrow and exile the monarchy. The complete sovereignty gained was successful, and the first most crucial act that Brutus performed was to get the people to take an oath never to let a king rule in Rome.
Brutus’ influence caused an immediate impact on Caesar’s assassination. He was the ancestor of Marcus Junius Brutus, the one whom Caesar cried to in death. Senator Gaius Cassius Longinus was one of the main people who plotted the ways to kill Caesar and also tried to entice Marcus Brutus to participate in it. It was the assassination which his ancestors would have done, if not him.
The first reasons for the assassination of Caesar were the personal distress and jealousy of the Roman Senate. Both the historical records and “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” made clear about the reality of this point. However, from this point, there is a bit deviation; in the Shakespearean version of the last moments of Caesar.
Shakespeare must be forgiven as he was not attempting to write history but was trying to write Caesar’s death in this way. He highlighted the excitement and gravity of the act. The phrase was popularized much before “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.” Shakespeare aimed for- popularity and profit by using a common phrase that can be identified by the people. From this, Shakespeare is now known as a popular name.