A Comparison of the Character of Brutus in Julius Caesar and Hamlet in Hamlet

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The Characters of Brutus and Hamlet in Hamlet and Julius Caesar

Written one year apart from the other, one cannot fail to recognize the parallels between William Shakespeare's tragedies Julius Caesar and Hamlet. To begin, they are both stories of assassinations gone horribly wrong. Although the details of the plays are different, the two assassins (Brutus and Hamlet) provide interesting comparison. Through these two killers, Shakespeare reveals the different levels of justice; one’s personal sense of justice; others’ perception of justice; the justice of the monarchy that supports Shakespeare’s craft. Through this, the audience realizes that a just person is not always a humble one, a condition that may turn out to be a
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However, Hamlet, especially upon learning of Claudius' responsibility for the elder Hamlet's death, takes the Old Testament view and seeks to avenge his father's death. To Hamlet, his revenge will wipe out the injustice brought on by Claudius'usurping of the elder Hamlet's throne and wife, and thus will justice be served.

Per Hamlet's thinking, Claudius'ascension to power was unjust: He murdered his brother and married his brother's wife two months later. To the people of Hamlet's day, the son avenging his father's death was an acceptable form of justice. Hamlet himself sees such an action more as "cleaning house" than revenge: "A villain kills my father, and for that/I, his sole son, do this same villain send/To heaven./Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge" (Hamlet, III.iii.76-79). The son avenging the father is especially prevalent in Hamlet, with Fortinbras seeking to fight the elder Hamlet for the death of his father, Hamlet looking for revenge against Claudius for the death of the elder Hamlet, and Laertes pursuing Hamlet to avenge the death of Polonius. In the midst of these examples, one can see a certain amount of acceptance accorded to the sons and their intended actions, especially toward Laertes at the end of Hamlet. In this sense, the society that advocates "turn the other cheek" still allows a certain degree of "an eye for an eye."

In the case of
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