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Et tu Brute

assassination of julius caesar

Et tu Brute Definition

Et tu, Brute? It is a phrase used to express a feeling of betrayal or of being betrayed.


This is a Latin phrase that translates to ‘and you, Brutus?’ or ‘also you, Brutus?’. It is a line spoken by the titular character in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar shortly before he is killed and upon seeing his friend Brutus is one of the assassins. The phrase is used apart from the play to express a similar sentiment of betrayal.

Et tu Brute Examples

  • Playing Monopoly we were teaming up against the wives and nearly had them bankrupt when I drew the final park place property George needed. I decided it was time to turn the tables on him so I bought it. George looked at me with shock and simply said, “Et tu, Brute?”
  • As the last two surviving bank robbers were about to go through the back exit. The head guy turned to his partner and shot him in the leg. The wounded robber looked up at him just before he left calling “Et tu, brute? after all the planning we did together!?”.


‘Et Tu, Babe’ was born out of my absolute certainty that a writer’s life was solitary and insular, and I was happy with that. I love reading and writing; it’s my whole life.

Mark Leyner

“As they spoke, the only thing I could think about was that scene from Julius Caesar where Brutus stabs him in the back. Et tu, Eric?”

Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

Et tu Brute Origin

CINNA: O Caesar,–

CAESAR: Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus?

DECIUS BRUTUS: Great Caesar, —

CAESAR: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

CASCA: Speak, hands for me!

[CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and BRUTUS stab CAESAR]

CAESAR: Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar! [dies]William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 1599

This phrase originates from the play Julius Caesar by the legendary playwright William Shakespeare. It is some of final words spoken by his character before dying, having been assassinated by his conspirators including his dear friend Marcus Junius Brutus.

This scene is based on the assassination of the real Julius Caesar the Roman general and dictator. It is highly unlikely that these were his actual last words which are hotly debated by historians.