Did Caesar Deserve to Die?
By Mary Backman

    Rome, March 20- Judging by the Roman People’s behavior following Caesar’s death, there is no doubt that both his rule and his demise have had a great impact on the Roman Empire and it’s people.  Often when a death occurs, many people question the reasons for it.  After learning of Caesar’s death I had many questions as well.  I wanted to know: What were the true motives of Caesar’s murder? And did those who killed Caesar have the best interests of the Romans in mind?
    At Caesar’s funereal Brutus’ speech had great impact on the shocked and very impressionable crowd.  Brutus said, “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his.  If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”(Act 3, Scene 2, lines 19-24)  He claimed that Caesar dying was the right thing for the Roman people.  He continued, saying, “Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?  As Caesar loved me, I weep for him…but as he was ambitious, I slew him.”(Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Act 3, Scene 2, lines 24-25, 28)  Brutus swayed the crowd into thinking that Caesar didn’t care about their happiness or welfare and that he only wanted to be king.  “King” is a title highly disliked by those of a republic, and I believe that they felt threatened by Caesar.  The fact that he had been appointed dictator for life and consul for ten years as well also contributed to their dislike of him.  The reason I believe Brutus participated in Caesar’s murder is that Caesar’s dictatorship broke the Republic’s constitution, and Brutus feels very strongly about honoring the Republic.
    Though some of the Romans did not like Caesar, one cannot deny the positive things he did for Rome.  During his rule he eliminated a highly corrupt tax system, sponsored colonies of veterans, and extended Roman citizenship.  He reconstituted the courts, and increased the number of senators.  His reform of the calendar gave Romans a less confusing means of recording time. Unfortunately, after Caesar’s funeral, Rome descended into chaos, with no one leader in control.  Based on this information, I believe that the murders didn’t consider the fact that most of Rome liked Caesar.  Therefore they didn’t anticipate the reaction of the Roman people.
    Despite the Controversy over Caesar, one cannot deny that his death may have had just as much impact as his life did.  I personally believe that Caesar’s death was wrong, and because of his positive impact on Rome he did not deserve to die.  Regardless of ones opinion of Caesar, there is one thing that cannot be denied.  He made great improvements to Rome, and his life will still affect those who live on after his death.