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The Difference Between Brutus And Cassius In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

1393 words - 6 pages

The Difference Between Brutus and Cassius in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

In Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar', Brutus and Cassius are contrasting
characters. They differ in the way they perceive Antony as a threat to
the assassination plot, their dominance in personality, and their
moral obligation. In Julius Caesar, Brutus is the more naïve, dominant
and noble character, while Cassius is the more perceptive, submissive,
and manipulative person.

Brutus and Cassius are very different in the way they perceive Antony.
Brutus is very trusting and naïve when he judges Antony. When the
subject of killing Antony comes up among the conspirators, Brutus
underestimates how dangerous Antony could be and says, "For Antony is
but a limb of Caesar". This statement means Brutus does not think it
is necessary to kill Antony and he thinks that without Caesar, Antony
is worthless. Another incident where Brutus misjudges Antony is when
he allows Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral. Brutus trusts that
Antony will not say anything bad about the conspirators or him: "What
Antony shall speak I will protest he speaks by leave and by
permission, and that we are contented Caesar shall have all true rites
and lawful ceremonies. It shall advantage us more than do us wrong".
Brutus actually thinks that by letting Antony speak the conspirators
and he will have a better situation for themselves because it will
make their plot seem honourable. Cassius, on the other hand, is a very
perceptive person; he sees how dangerous Antony can be. He notices
that Antony is clever and that he might not be trustworthy. When
Brutus suggests that they shouldn't kill Antony, Cassius says if
Antony outlives Caesar, "[They] shall find of [Mark Antony] a shrewd
contriver" (2.1.170-171). When Brutus gives Antony the right to speak
at Caesar's funeral, Cassius pulls Brutus aside and says, "You know
not what you do. Do not consent that Antony speak in [Caesar's]
funeral. Know you how much the people may be moved/ by that which
[Antony] will utter?" Cassius sees that Antony is a powerful speaker
and that if Antony speaks the people will side with him. This shows
that Cassius has a much better idea of how dangerous Antony is.

Although Cassius is correct on how dangerous Antony really is, Brutus'
ideas are used because Brutus is the more dominant character. In the
play Cassius is the more passive character and Brutus, the more
authoritative. This is exemplified when Brutus and Cassius are arguing
about allowing Cicero joining the assassination conspiracy. Cassius
thinks that Cicero is a good and honorable man that should be
included, but as soon as he nominates Cicero to join the group, Brutus
steps in and says, "O, name him not! Let us not break with him, for he
will never follow anything that other men begin". Instead of
...

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