Comparison and Contrast Essay: Brutus and Cassius

Julius Caesar was written in the 16th century by William Shakespeare, an Elizabethan-English writer who wrote from 1591 to 1611. In this tragedy, the author makes reference to Roman times and the assassination of Julius Caesar with certain details and dramatic elements to make the story more interesting and to make the play more enjoyable. In addition, the author also adds lots of character descriptions referring to their similarities and differences. For example, when talking about Brutus and Cassius, two main characters who share many things; they are both Romans and brothers in law, they are wealthy and rich, and they both are tribunes. Although Brutus and Cassius have many things in common, they differ in others such as: in their personalities, attitude towards Julius Caesar, and the motives that led them to kill Caesar.

Brutus has a strong and sincere personality. It is true that since the beginning of the play, we clearly see that Cassius wants to persuade Brutus to go against Caesar and later to join the conspiracy he plans. Moreover, it is also true that Brutus is naïve but not a fool and realizes Cassius is being too nice with him and is up to something. This is clearly shown when Brutus says: ‘Into what danger would you lead me, Cassius, that you would have me seek into myself for that which is not in me?’(1) . On the other hand, all men speak of him as noble and honorable. He always says what he thinks and stands for it, he is a loving husband and loves Rome. Different from Brutus, Cassius has a dark and cold personality. He is not credible, that is why he wants Brutus on his side so people will think their cause is honorable. Also, he seems strong but he has not real convictions. Caesar thinks Cassius is dangerous and he is right. ‘Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much, such men are dangerous’(2)

Also, when talking about their attitude this two characters have towards killing Caesar, we notice they are very different. As Brutus is a man of good feelings, he has nothing personal against Caesar, he loves him. This is shown when he says: ‘I would not Cassius, yet I love him well’(3). When Casca tells that Caesar had a fit and fell to the ground because he had to refuse the thrown to make the crowd happy, Brutus wants to be sure he didn’t fall because he had an epilepsy attack. We can clearly see this. As well, he feels bad to be considered a friend by Caesar because he knows it is not true. On the other hand, Cassius hates Caesar. He is jealous of him, of his popularity, and of his position. He uses every opportunity he has to show Caesar is mean. A case in point, is when he tells Brutus not to let Antony speak in Caesars favor.‘…Do not consent that Antony speak in his funeral…’(4). Furthermore, Cassius tries to make Caesar look as a coward and a weak man, telling about how Caesar asked Cassius to help him when he was ready to sink in a flood or how he shivered with fever like a woman.

Finally, the motives they have to kill Caesar are different. Brutus intention when killing Caesar is to save Rome. Brutus fears Caesar can become the king of Rome, something he can’t agree to, he cannot accept Rome has lost his greatness and to restore it needs a king. In addition, he comes from a family that fought until the last king of Rome was defeated. For example when he says: ‘...Brutus had rather be a villager, than to repute himself a son of Rome…’(5). It is hard for him to decide the best thing to Rome is to kill Caesar, he thinks it over and over but once he is convinced nothing will change his mind. On the contrary, Cassius motives to murder Caesar are greed, fear to loose power and jealousy. He is afraid that if Caesar becomes a king, tribunes will be killed or left aside. Moreover, Cassius thinks he has done for Rome more than Caesar or just the same but