“Does the End Justify the Means?”

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"Does the end ever justify the means?" By definition, this phrase means that a good outcome excuses any wrong that are committed to attain it ("Idioms & Phrases."). Not only is this question strongly debated in everyday conversation, but it played a substantial role in the play of Julius Caesar. The differing opinions on this question lead to the deaths of various characters within the story.
In the play of Julius Caesar one of the main characters, Brutus, was torn between his love for Rome, and his loyalty to Caesar. He fears the power Caesar is about to gain, and that he will abuse this power in order to become king of Rome. When he is approached to join a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar, he joins. This was after some unfair persuasion by his longtime friend Cassius. Unlike the other conspirators, Brutus joins the plot out of his devotion to Rome, while the other conspirators join out of their envy and hate for Caesar. The conspirators eventually carry out their plot and publically assassinate Caesar.
After the assassination, Brutus makes a speech to the plebeians trying to justify the conspirators’ actions. He states “As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him(“ Shakespeare, 2”).” By stating this, he tries to persuade the plebeians of his belief that Caesar was a danger to Rome because of his great ambition, and the power he would soon possess. When Brutus finishes his monologue, the plebeians seem to be persuaded and agree with his motives. Therefore, we can see that Brutus would agree in this situation that the ends do indeed justify the means. He believed that saving Rome from any possible dangers could be achieved through...

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...ony. Both characters had different opinions on the question, which was displayed through their actions. I feel that Brutus was more justified in his actions because they were performed selflessly for the good of Rome.

Works Cited

"Ethics - "A photojournalist has to get the picture. Does the end justify the means?"." Photographic Journalism Year 3. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. .

"Idioms & Phrases.", n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. .

Shakespeare, William. "Act 3 Scene 2." Julius Ceasar,. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1935. Page 4-5. Print.

Shakespeare, William. "Act 3 Scene 2." Julius Ceasar,. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1935. Page 2. Print.
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