brutal

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If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. 

-E.M. Forster, What I Believe

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The best thing I could say in honour of Shakespeare, the man, is that he believed in Brutus, and cast not a shadow of suspicion on the kind of virtue which Brutus represents! It is to him that Shakespeare consecrated his best tragedy. It is at present still called by a wrong name, to him, and to the most terrible essence of lofty morality. Independence of soul! that is the question at issue! No sacrifice can be too great there : one must be able to sacrifice to it even one’s dearest friend, although he be the grandest of men, the ornament of the world, the genius without peer, if one really loves freedom as the freedom of great souls, and if this freedom be threatened by him : it is thus that Shakespeare must have felt! The elevation in which he places Caesar is the most exquisite honour he could confer upon Brutus ; it is thus only that he lifts into vastness the inner problem of his hero, and similarly the strength of soul which could cut this knot! And was it actually political freedom that impelled the poet to sympathy with Brutus, and made him the accomplice of Brutus? Or was political freedom merely a symbol for something inexpressible? Do we perhaps stand before some sombre event or adventure of the poet’s own soul, which has remained unknown, and of which he only cared to speak symbolically?

-Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Chapter 98, In praise of Shakespeare

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