The Condemnation of Marcus Brutus

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“We’ll attack when we’re told, And submit should he scold, For we’re old Pa Ubu’s dogs-of-war” (Taylor 31) is the mantra and role of Brutus from “Ubu and the Truth Commission” by Jane Taylor. This play tells the complicated story of South African politics and highlights the failures of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in its attempts to heal the wounds of South Africa and bring justice in the transition from Apartheid. In Act Five: Scene One we see the condemnation and trial of Brutus, the three-headed dog and co-conspirator of Pa Ubu, and through this can draw a direct parallel to the real-life difficulties that were encountered by South Africa when trying the political players involved in Apartheid. Taylor uses this…show more content…
Looking into the sentencing of this Brutus helps to draw even more parallels to real-life instances that the TRC came across. The sentence that was delivered upon the First Brutus was two hundred and twelve years imprisonment, due to the fact that this First Brutus was the source that performed these acts, and the victims had identified him. The two-hundred-and-twelve-year sentence is not an arbitrary number, but was shaped after the sentence that was handed down to Eugene De Kock. De Kock was the commander of Section C1 of the South African police, a secret force that was responsible for multiple bombings and murders during the height of apartheid (Gellhorn, Murrow, Mitford, Hersh, and Schlosser 190). De Kock was a ruthless man who was associated with first hand kidnapping, torture, and murder of known opponents of the government, just like the foot soldier role that the first head of Brutus represents. By assigning a life-like sentence to this head of Brutus Jane Taylor highlights the reality of the court system at the end of apartheid, and helps to bring about a sense of justice served upon the first head of Brutus. The second head of Brutus was described as being a high member in the chain of command of the military. He was not one of the people out on the assaults that took place, but rather was behind the scenes, helping

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