et tu, Brute!

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et tu, Brute!

You, my so-called friend, are also betraying me. This expression is generally credited to Shakespeare, who used the exact Latin locution (literally, “and you, Brutus”) in Julius Caesar (3.1) in 1599. However, Shakespeare actually was loosely quoting the real Julius Caesar, who reportedly said, “You too, my child?” when Marcus Brutus stabbed him in 44 b.c. Caesar made this dying remark in Greek (according to Suetonius’s account). Incidentally, “Brute” did not signify “brute” in the sense of animal; it simply is the proper Latin case for this name. A more recent version, with friends like that/you, who needs enemies, became current in America in the 1960s. It usually is a response to a far less dire betrayal—a tactless remark by a friend, for example.
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The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Et tu Brute? Unfortunately, I do not live in his electoral division so I won't be able to vote for him, but I wish Coun Malcolm well.
On "The Ides of March," as my Morton East High School sophomore English students and I study the play, Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, we investigate a certain harmful condition of the human mind that I have entitled "The Et Tu Brute Complex." On March 15, the date of the "Ides of March," Caesar's friend, Brutus, stabs him, which prompts Caesar to exclaim with his last breath, "Et Tu Brute?"("And you, too, Brutus?") Caesar is surprised that Brutus is among the senators in the Roman Forum who are stabbing him.