Cassius' Words In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

722 words - 3 pages

Cassius' Words in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

 
     In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, the importance of Cassius and Brutus' dialogues in Act 1, Scene 2, lines 135-78 to the play is that it enables Cassius to deceive Brutus to join the conspirators. Cassius' words in this passage show that he is a very cunning individual who persuades Brutus to join the conspirators to rid Rome of his so-called " tyranny."

 

Cassius' words expose his hypocritical nature during his conversation with Brutus. At one point, during the ceremony to offer Caesar the crown after his victory in battle, Brutus remarks, "I do fear the people choose Caesar for their king" (79). Cassius seizes that opportunity and convinces Brutus to join the conspirators. He claims Caesar was a tyrant: "He doth bestride the narrow world / like a Colossus and we petty men / walk under his huge legs and peep about / to find ourselves dishonorable graves" (135-38).

 

Not only does Cassius use Brutus' fears to influence him to join the conspirators, but also in line 162, Cassius hovers and picks on Brutus' simplicity. Cassius cleverly reminds Brutus it is his choice to worship a dictator or live in a free country -- free of Caesar. "Men at some time are masters of their own fates / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves that we are underlings" (139- 41). In addition to working on Brutus' simplicity, Cassius cunningly magnifies Brutus' nobility when he compares him to Caesar. "'Brutus' will start a spirit as soon as 'Caesar'" (1.2.147).

 

Cassius continues his speech with haunting pictures of Caesar. He tactfully arouses Brutus' jealousy, "Why should that name be sounded more than yours... when there is in it but only one man" (142- 57). In these lines Cassius ruins Caesar' excellence; he paints Caesar as the everlasting dictator. Convincingly, the sly Cassius plays on Brutus' pride. He reminds Brutus of his ancestral heritage. He points out, "There was a Brutus once...

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