Essay on Cassius vs. Brutus in Julius Caesar
825 Words4 Pages
Both Cassius and Brutus play major roles in the play Julius Caesar. Cassius and Brutus both plan Caesar’s death. Although they are working towards a common goal, Cassius and Brutus have very different motivations for doing this. On the one hand, Cassius sees it as a way to gain more power for himself while destroying the king and all his power. On the other hand, Brutus believes that in killing Caesar he is preserving peace for the Romans’ future years. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses different techniques to create biased characterizations of the two men so that readers and viewers develop identical attitudes towards each of them. In Julius Caesar, Cassius is portrayed as a greedy villain while Brutus is depicted as an…show more content…
Unlike Cassius, Brutus is always doing what he feels is best for the Romans. In addition, Cassius feels inferior to Brutus. Brutus has much power from the people and is friends with the soon-to-be king, which is why Cassius is so desperate to have Brutus on his side. Once he persuades Brutus to join him, he shifts from being the leader of the conspirators to the subordinate of Brutus. For instance, Brutus gives Antony permission to speak at the funeral, even though this went against Cassius’ own will. Lastly, Cassius is quick to make decisions but Brutus analyzes things before coming to a final decision. It takes Brutus many days of agony to finally agree that joining Cassius was the right thing to do. In contrast, Cassius spends only a few seconds to decide on committing suicide. Directly after Pindarus says, “Now they are almost on him… And hark they shout for joy,” Cassius kills himself. (Act V Scene III Lines 31, 34) He is quick minded, not realizing that Brutus has actually not been captured. Both Brutus’ and Cassius’ characterizations are results of Shakespeare’s biased dialogue. Throughout the play, Brutus is continuously described as being noble and honorable. The first mention of this is early on in the play. Cassius, when trying to persuade Brutus to join the conspirators, praises Brutus by saying “noble Brutus” and “good Brutus” (page 17, line 68, 72). During Antony’s funeral speech, he repeats over and over “Brutus is an
Cassius is the ringleader of the conspirators. He's politically savvy and manipulative, and he absolutely resents the way the Roman people treat Julius Caesar like a rock star. More important, he hates the way Caesar runs around acting like a god: "Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world /Like a Colossus, and we petty men / Walk under his huge legs and peep about" (1.2.142-144).
Cassius is also responsible for manipulating Brutus into joining the conspiracy (although Brutus may have already been thinking of turning against Caesar):
Well, Brutus, thou art noble. Yet I see
Thy honorable metal may be wrought
From that it is disposed. Therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduced? (1.2.305-309)
Bragging to the audience, Cassius compares himself to a metal-worker as he suggests that even the noblest of men can be manipulated, or bent, to his will. How does Cassius "seduce" Brutus? First he slyly suggests that the Roman people want Brutus to lead them, then he sends Brutus some forged letters urging him to take down Caesar.