Julius Caesar - A Comparison of Brutus and Cassius
In the play Julius Caesar, written and preformed by William Shakespeare, there are many characters, but two, Brutus and Cassius, stood out. The play begins in Rome where a celebration of Julius Caesar's victory over the former ruler of Rome, Pompeii. The victory leads to Caesar's betrayal by his jealous companions. Senators and other high status figures are jealous of Caesar's new and growing power, while others, like Brutus, fear the tyrannical rule Caesar could enforce. The conspirators, Brutus and Cassius being the most important, assassinate Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius, better known as Antony, and Octavius Caesar, Caesar's heir to the thrown, revenge Caesar's death. Antony convinces the Roman populous to destroy the conspirators and eventually begins a war with Cassius and Brutus' armies. Both Cassius and Brutus commit suicide to save their honor and Antony and Octavius win the war. The characterizations of Brutus and Cassius show a distinct contrast in their character traits and motives for the assassination of Julius Caesar.
The play Julius Caesar depicts Brutus to be an extremely noble being who is well respected and honored by all Romans, even his enemies. Brutus was a loving friend of Julius Caesar and wished anything but death on his comrade, but his love and dedication to the majestic city of Rome would force him to commit anything. He fights a war to defend Rome from a king or emperor's tyrannical rule. When the war was finished, even his enemies saw that he was the most respectable Roman of them all.
This (Brutus' body) was the noblest Roman of them all. All conspirators, save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar. He only, in general honest thought and common good to all made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand and say to all the world, `This was a man' (Julius Caesar, 636, act 5, scene 5).
Antony's small speech depicts Brutus as a noble being and the ideal image of a man. Stating that nature would `stand and say to all the world', that Brutus was a man illustrates Brutus as being the idyllic man to become. Brutus is the only conspirator to maintain an honorable reason to assassinate Julius Caesar. Antony believes this, and states how only Brutus `in general honest thought and common good to all made one of them', implying that Brutus is the only one who possessed moral reasons for assassinating Caesar. Both Antony and Octavius, who were two of Brutus' most critical adversaries, state how Brutus is a dignified Roman.
Brutus and Cassius are both conspirators against Caesar, but for diverse reasons. Brutus, though pressured for the wrong reasons by his friend Cassius, joins the conspirators solely to promote the well being of Rome. Through out the play Julius Caesar, the guilt of the thought of slaughtering his ...