The Consequences Of Patriotism As Moral Justification

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Joshua Soifer Ms. Pultz English 9B 12 June 2017 Et Tu, Machiavelli – The Consequences of Patriotism as Moral Justification Civil rights activist Malcolm X once claimed that “You 're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can 't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it”. Patriotism plays a principal role in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare uses the actions of Brutus in order to demonstrate the immorality of taking patriotic duty to be an absolute duty. This is an important principle which allows us to interpret the actions of Brutus, and his influencers, throughout the play. This idea has been supported and discussed by many philosophers, and is still just as relevant in the world today.…show more content…
However, this noble impulse is what leaves him open to manipulation by his “friend” Cassius. Cassius wants Caesar killed, for less noble reasons, and is willing to use deception and manipulation to obtain his goal. Brutus’ sense of duty and patriotism provides him with the opportunity to get Brutus to act as Cassius wishes him to. One example of Cassius’ manipulation is found when he claims to Brutus that the noble Romans wished for Brutus to defeat Caesar, and take his power for the good of Rome. He claims that “[He has] heard, / Where many of the best respect in Rome / Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus / And groaning underneath this age 's yoke, / Have wish 'd that noble Brutus had his eyes" (1.2.58-62). Cassius then begins his greatest deception, through faking letters from the people of Rome, convincing Brutus that murdering Caesar was best for Rome. Cassius describes how he will “… in at his windows throw, / As if they came from several citizens, / Writings all tending to the great opinion / That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely / Caesar’s ambition should be glanced at” (1.2.315-319). Cassius convinced Brutus, using his view that patriotism was a more important moral ideal than any other, to murder Caesar due to the falsified views of the people. In this way, Brutus’ was swayed by his patriotism in order to commit an immoral deed, that of killing his friend, Caesar. This decision has

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