(c. 85—42 bc)

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In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Decius Brutus is one of the conspirators. Marcus Brutus is the idealistic friend of Caesar who is persuaded by Cassius to join the conspiracy. Caesar receives his wound from Brutus with the legendary words ‘Et tu, Brute?—Then fall, Caesar!’ (iii. i. 76). Antony's tribute to Brutus after his death as ‘the noblest Roman of them all’ (V. v. 68) is well known. The internal deliberations of Brutus have been seen as precursors of those of Hamlet, hero of what was probably Shakespeare's next play.

Subjects: Classical Studies — Literature.

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