Related Keywords

No Related Keywords

Register NowHow It Works Need Essay Need Essay
Caesar And Brutus
0 User(s) Rated!
Words: 440 Views: 129 Comments: 0
Brutus was a trusted friend of Caesar and an honorable man, or so you thought. In William Shakespeare"s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus is presented as a loyal companion to Caesar showing himself as honorable only to turn around and betray his friend by death. This to me does not sound like the act of an honorable man. Can a man who is honored, be honorable? Brutus was a noble man in Rome and a good friend to the leader Caesar. Many looked up to Brutus as an honest man, and a person to trust and confide in. Trust...
person. With so much going for him, he lost it all to an easy way out of a difficult situation. We are all presented with effortless ways to get out of complicated circumstances, but it"s not always the best.

As loyal and trustworthy as Brutus was first thought to be, his true side was eventually shown in the end. He was no friend to Caesar, or anyone else. Betrayal, lies, suicide, and murder were result of a weak and deceitful man. This man showed he was anything but honorable in anyway. On who is honored can"t always be honorable.

Become A Member Become a member to continue reading this essay orLoginLogin
View Comments Add Comment

In Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor,...In Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, readers are introduced to the conflict of good and evil between Billy Budd and Claggart. However, there is another conflict, which, in ways is more significant than the epic clash of good and evil. Vere's struggle between duty and conscience is more significant because it occurs in the mind. Whereas Billy Budd was clearly the noble sacrificed hero and Claggart was the vindictive villain, duty is just as noble as conscience and conscience is just as noble as duty. Melville sets up this conflict by placing a man with the intuition and innocence of a child, in the hands of a captain amidst war. In a description of Captain Vere it can be anticipated that Vere, who values peace and common good, would be in conflict with his job, which requires him to be a militaristic authoritarian. Captain Vere learns important lessons when innocent hands bring about destruction of life. Vere was moved by his beckoning duty as captain, to convince the drumhead court to convict Billy Budd. However, the paternal emotions towards Billy Budd and his rational thinking did invoke indecision. Captain Vere realizes, when he has to act, he does not have the strength of conviction he had thought. Vere's character is written to be a medium between Billy Budd and Claggart. Vere, like Claggart, has experience that makes him a salted sailor. However, like Billy Budd, Vere has been able to hold on to his natural intelligence. Along with his intelligence, Vere has an innocent quality to him: he believes when a crisis between duty and conscience calls, he will be able to hold fast to duty as called for on the seas during war. Captain Vere learns that in the face of conflict between duty and conscience, he does not have the strength of conviction he thought he had. Captain Vere learns that to balance conscience and duty is a very hard task even for a man as conscious of his actions as he is. Captain Vere, despite having paternal feelings towards Billy Budd, soon realizes the decision facing him. After Claggart's last breathe, " 'Fated boy,' breathed Captain Vere in tone so low as to be almost a whisper, 'what have you done!' " 350. Vere's paternal feelings can be seen when he says "Fated boy". The fact Captain Vere whispers this implies the emotions he is feeling. He realizes the severity of Billy's actions and reproaches him as a father would a child exclaiming, "what have you done". Vere's first instinct is to reach out towards Billy. Duty, though, changes Captain Vere, "and the effect was as if the moon emerging from eclipse should reappear with quite another aspect than that which had gone into hiding" 350. Captain Vere's expressions are described as a moon. The use of moon, signifies, nature and in that sense innocence. The use of moon also shows that Captain Vere's emotions are pure and bright against the black, night sky. His new face is described as being a "quite another aspect". This shows that the face is not unnatural. It is still the purity and brightness of the moon but just another side of the moon. Captain Vere's conflict between conscience and duty can be seen in Melville's imagery. The side that first disappeared during the eclipse was Captain Vere's paternal feelings towards Billy. The side that reappeared after the eclipse is Vere fulfilling his duty as captain. Both sides of Vere are just as strong and just as right. Also the use of "hiding" in describing this other aspect of Captain Vere suggests that the sense of duty felt by Vere is not a foreign feeling. In fact, it is just a side of Vere that comes out when needed. Vere regains his composure as captain and is able to order the surgeon in. The surgeon confirms Vere's fears and "with one hand to his brow, was standing motionless" 351. His concerns show even without a description of Vere's features. The "one hand to his brow" is able to convey in actions what is lacking in the description of overt actions. Vere's is concerned and in deep thought over what to do next. His duty renders him motionless as not to show emotion in front of the surgeon. His duty keeps him from reacting, but "Suddenly, catching the surgeon's arm convulsively, he exclaimed"¦ 'It is the divine judgment on Ananias! Look!' " 351. In a complete departure from his dutiful calm, he is "catching the surgeon's arm". The fact Vere reaches out and makes physical contact with the surgeon shows his need to express himself. His grabbing the arm is described as "convulsively" and shows how highly emotional he is. The jerking of the surgeon's arm is a physical manifestation of Vere's indecision on how to act. He proclaims the death of an officer "divine judgment", showing he is siding with Billy's actions: clearly departing from his duty. His exclamations reflect uncharacteristic excitement over the death. "Vere was now again motionless, standing absorbed in thought" 351. Vere is again drawn back to duty and stands pondering the actions he will take. Motionless, like before, is describing a stoic captain mindful of his duty to remain unmoved by emotion. While he is "absorbed in thought" Captain Vere comes to the decision that Billy must be treated as anybody would, having killed an officer. "Again starting, he vehemently exclaimed, 'Struck dead by an angel of God! Yet the angel must hang!' " 352 Vere's wavering between emotion and duty reflect the battle going on in his mind over what to do. He has made a decision as to how he will act, but he exclaims it in uncharacteristic excitement. Vere is described as having "vehemently exclaimed". The use of vehemently, shows the degree of passion Vere feels. The fact that exclaimed is used again in describing Vere's outburst show the high level of passion Vere is expressing. He speaks of Claggart as being "struck dead by an angel of God!" Vere praises Billy's action of killing Claggart. This is a clear voice of conscience, for as a captain, Vere is supposed to condemn this violent act. He even goes as far as to call the murderer "an angel of God". Referring to Billy that way shows that his biased feelings can be seen in his outbursts of passion. Then he exclaims his decision by saying, "Yet the angel must hang!" Telling others of his decision shows he is not fulfilling his duty. The dithering between expressing his emotions and carrying out his duty makes Vere realize he is not as good at suppressing his emotions as he had thought. It is important to note that the wavering between his conflicting feelings does not occur once but a few times. First he reacts paternally when Claggart is struck dead; then, calling the surgeon in he is acting out of duty. Followed by an outburst of emotion is a calm of duty. Only to be followed by yet another outburst and recollection of self. The fact that the feelings changed in succession so many times shows that Vere is unable to control his emotions and fulfill his duties. Captain Vere is able to fulfill his duty in convincing the drumhead court to punish Billy by execution. At the execution Captain Vere, "as before, the central figure among the assembled commissioned officers "“ stood"¦facing forward" 375. Captain Vere is described as a central figure, because he is the middle ground between all the men on the ship. Vere was characteristically between Billy and Claggart, as he is with the rest of the ship. Vere feels strongly for Billy, but he does not doubt he made the right decision. That is why he is the middle ground between the commissioned officers. Some love Billy and wish him not to be executed. Others believe executing Billy will keep mutineers from acting up. Captain Vere is the only one who feels both. He keeps conscience and duty separate, but does not judge one to be "righter" than the other. Captain Vere is also described as "facing forward". Vere is not regretting his decision and going forth with it. That is why during the execution his position of "facing forward" is significant to understanding Vere's feelings towards Billy. He loves Billy, yet understands that he is doing the right thing. Therefore, Vere is not regretful. Instead he has learned his weakness in suppressing emotion and fulfilling duty. Billy, right before he is executed says " 'God bless Captain Vere!' " 375 With those words "Captain Vere, either through stoic self-control or a sort of momentary paralysis induced by emotional shock, stood erectly rigid" 376. This time when Vere is motionless, his stance is regarded as "either stoic self-control or a sort of momentary paralysis induced by emotional shock". The "stoic self-control" summarizes Vere's duty. As captain he should not express his feeling and emotions. "Emotional shock" describes the momentary feelings that overtake him. Vere's stance being interpreted as both show how conscience and duty are entwined. Vere makes no distinction of either one being more correct. Therefore others observing him cannot tell the reason for his standing "erectly rigid". As Captain Vere lay dying "under the influence of that magical drug which"¦mysteriously operates on the subtler element in man, he was heard to murmur words"¦ 'Billy Budd, Billy Budd'" 382 The "magical drug" was able to bring forth "the subtler element in man" is bringing out the emotions of the captain. Vere, in what others viewed as an immoral persecution of an innocent in the name of duty, was ruled by his feelings of duty. The "subtler element in man" his emotions, usually suppressed in war, pour forth. Captain Vere was murmuring Billy Budd. Other than Melville stating the murmurs were not remorseful, the fact Vere is murmuring shows Vere is not being tortured by his decision. Murmuring implies that he is acknowledging something. He is not passionately declaring or aguishly crying out. Instead he is murmuring, acknowledging what the innocent Billy Budd meant to him and what Billy Budd taught him. Billy Budd taught him that there is a balance between conscience and duty. Vere does not have to break one to fulfill another. However, Captain Vere does learn that to balance conscience and duty is a daunting task even for an intelligent and feeling man. The allegory of Billy Budd suggests that the human condition is a balancing act. Whether it is between the complete innocence of Billy and the naturally depraved Claggart, or Vere's duty and conscience. The manifestation of complete opposites in the characters of Billy Budd and Claggart give readers a very clear sense of the enemy, and which character to emulate. However, Billy Budd and Claggart are very exaggerated views of balancing opposite interests. Melville, more subtly, uses the murder of Claggart by Billy Budd, to show the readers the balance needing to be achieved within Captain Vere. His struggle between duty and conscience are representative of different interests. These different interests might not be clearly right and wrong. Duty is just as noble as emotion and vice versa. Despite what people think of themselves, it is very hard to strike that balance in which both interests can be achieved. Vere's actions when wavering between emotion and duty reflect how actions counteract one another. One minute Vere was calm and the next he was passionately exclaiming. The human condition is always shifting, always looking for that balance of interests. People believe strongly in many things, but when the strong beliefs are pitted against one another balance must be found. As Vere learned, in the face of conflict between two rights, he finds his convictions shaken.   

In Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, readers are introduced to the conflict of good and evil between Billy Budd and Claggart. However, there is another conflict, which, in ways is more significant than the epic clash of good and evil. Vere's struggle between duty and conscience is more significant because...

Words: 1970 View(s): 130 Comment(s): 0