Cassius vs. Brutus:


Humanities 3/7/04

In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Cassius and Brutus often clash as a result of their distinct and different characters. Brutus, who is conflicted about whether or not to kill Caesar for the good of Rome, has a more noble character than Cassius, who manipulates Brutus into killing Caesar.

Brutus has a noble character, which causes him to question whether or not killing Caesar is the right choice for Rome. During a conversation with Cassius, Brutus says “Vexèd I am of late with passions of some difference, conceptions only proper to myself, which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviors.” (I. ii. 45-48). Throughout the play, Brutus questions whether or not killing Caesar is not only the worth losing his friend, whether or not it is worth the political turmoil that will follow Caesar’s murder. Later in the play, Brutus says, “If it be aught toward the general good, set honor in one eye and death I’ th’ other and I will look on both indifferently” (I.ii. 92-94). In this quote, Brutus knows that Caesar must be killed because this action will benefit the most amounts of people.

Cassius is a manipulative man who seems to be willing to do anything in order to have Brutus as his political ally. Shortly after discussing the potential murder of Caesar with Brutus, Cassius says “Good Cinna, take this paper, and look you lay it in the Praetor’s chair, where Brutus may but find it; and throw this in his window; set this up with was upon old Brutus’ statue” (I.iii. 147-151). After talking with Brutus, Cassius wants to insure that he is willing to partake in the murder of Caesar. To be sure that Brutus is his ally, Cassius is willing to manipulate the truth by placing false letters in places that Brutus will find them. This act shows that Cassius is not an honorable man and is in fact killing Caesar for the wrong reasons.