Does the End Ever Truly Justify the Means?

779 Words4 Pages
Throughout the drama The Tragedy of Julius Caesar the reoccurring theme of “does the end justify the means?” comes into play numerous times, examples of this theme include: Cassius killing Caesar in vain, Brutus killing Caesar “for the people’s own good”, and Antony, along with Octavius, killing all those who were involved with the dethroning of Caesar. This theme also is reoccurring not only through the play, which was stated before, but also in history, making this theme a common and prevalent one in culture and rhetoric not only in the present, but also in the past. The best example of this theme in the drama is when Brutus says “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”(Shakespeare, The Tragedy Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene II, lines 20-22) The following lines are detrimental in pointing out that the end certainly does not justify the means because it proves that one man’s gullibility can ultimately be his downfall and his reasons are not convincing enough or he cannot evoke enough pathos to prove that the end does indeed justify the means. Brutus loved his Rome very much and that was a cultural idea shared among all people of ancient Rome. But Caesar was held so high that they wanted him to be king and so no one could ever let Brutus live down Caesar’s death and this is explained by Marc Antony saying, ” But yesterday the word of Caesar might Have stood against the world; now lies he there. And none so poor to do him reverence. O masters, if I were disposed to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose ... ... middle of paper ... ... without any doubt, justify the means. This idea has been extensively and thoroughly examined and then proven by using the culture of ancient Rome and the rhetoric of the play, Julius Caesar. Also, this notion was proven again by putting it in modern times and it was proven by modern American culture with modern rhetoric in Snowden’s letter to the United States. Therefore, the end does not justify the means because ultimately, your actions decide the end of your life. Works Cited Goldstein, Allen. "OpEdNews Article: Article: Failing the Edward Snowden Litmus Test." OpEdNews. OpEdNews, 13 May 2013. Web. 12 May 2014. Shakespeare, William, and Lawrence Mason. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. New Haven: Yale UP, 1919. Print. SnowdenW, Edward J. "Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow." Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow. Wikileaks, 01 July 2013. Web. 12 May 2014.
Open Document