Does The End Ever Truly Justify The Means?

1039 words - 5 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 ...view middle of the document...

So, therefore, the end does not justify the means in Cassius’s and Brutus’s case because now Antony is conspiring to kill them after the deed they had supposedly done for the benefit of Rome. Antony was easily able to sway the thoughts of the people because of their love for Caesar and the compassion that Antony shows throughout his monologue. In addition to swaying the Plebeians, Antony was able to successfully convey to the Roman people that the men are not honorable and that the conspirators, in particular Brutus and Cassius, must be dealt with because in the Roman culture, nobility and honor were cases where assassinations were excused but if they were not noble nor honorable causes then the Citizens would take the law into their own hands and persist by any means. The reason the people of Rome wanted to kill Brutus and Cassius is that the culture valued and admired death to others, an example of this would be the gladiator battles or the public assassinations; the Roman people were fascinated with death.
In modern times, this idea of “does the end justify the means” is a little easier to put into context. A great example is Edward Snowden, an NSA agent, felt that spying on the American people was wrong and unjust, so he released the documents to the public to view and give them the knowledge of the spying (much like how Cassius gave Brutus the letters about Caesar’s corruption) and after he learned of his punishment and the manhunt team against him, he fled the country. Modern American culture might perceive this action to be an action of a hero, which is true because this is valuable information to the people, and this is something that violates the people’s rights, but it also comes at a price, and yet again, the end does not justify the means. Snowden said, “The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport,...

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