The Brutus Revival: Parricide and Tyrannicide during the Renaissance

Synopsis

In a discussion of the Renaissance revival of classical culture, Piccolomini considers the period's mythologizing of Brutus, Caesar's assassin. He cites Dante as the initiator of an important literary, dramatic, political, and artistic theme and explains how the historical Brutus was changed by literature and theatre into a symbol of the just citizen rebelling against the unjust tyrant.

Piccolomini discusses several Renaissance political conspiracies modeled after Brutus' act and explores how those conspiracies, in turn, formed the basis for the theme's recurrence in Italian, French, and English theatre of the period.