Julius Caesar

Eric Jang

Betrayal

William Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar displays that betrayal is possible at any point of time in the friendship. Betrayal was an important theme in the play as it was emphasized and played out in many scenarios. The play shows betrayal being played out in many scenes. Caesar feels betrayed when Brutus stabs him, and says this line: “Et tu, Brute?”(Act III.Sc i.77). That quote is significant in showing how Caesar feels betrayed by Brutus because Caesar didn’t expect Brutus to be one of the people that betrays him. Et tu means you too which means that Caesar didn’t expect Brutus to also be one of the members of the coup. Caesar also asks Brutus instead of making a declarative sentence showing Caesar’s true loyalty and surprise from Brutus’s betrayal. From Caesar’s point of view the pain would’ve been incredible because Caesar trusted Brutus. Even though Brutus and his coup showed the greatest amount of betrayal in the play; there were also other scenes that displayed betrayal in another way. Such as Anthony when he says “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And, sure, he is an honourable man.”(Act III.Sc ii.92-96). Anthony promised Brutus to not speak ill of Brutus when Anthony speaks of Caesar’s death, yet Anthony betrayed Brutus by going against his words and telling others of what harm Brutus has done. These ways of betrayal were for two different scenarios, but they can be related as in betrayal occurs more often within friends. This quote shows conflict in what Anthony wants to say, and also what Brutus and Anthony are experiencing.