- Levitsky, Ruth M. "'The Elements Were So
Mix'd . . . "
- PMLA, 88 (1973), 240-245.
Thesis: Levitsky begins with a quick review of the reactions
of literary critics to Brutus. The earliest tended to idealize him,
but in the middle of the twentieth century there was a reaction
against this tendency. Levitsky intends to restore the balance. She
points out that Brutus is not the perfect Stoic he would like to
behis passions sometimes get the better of him and his reason
is imperfectbut he is still the noblest Roman of them all:
The patience and reliance on Providence which Brutus decides to
reject would have made him more Christian than Stoic. But he was not
and could not be Christian. What he could be Shakespeare made him: a
Roman who stood out as more human than Caesar, more disciplined than
Antony, and more pure-in-heart than any of his fellow
Bottom Line: Persuasive and unsurprising.