Brutus vs. Cassius

Essay by thebull05A+, November 2002

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 42 times

Brutus vs. Cassius

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is a play about characters during the Roman Empire. In the play, several people, including Cassius and Brutus conspire to kill Julius Caesar for different reasons. Brutus believes that the sole reason behind Caesar's death is to free Rome from tyranny; Brutus wants whatever is best for Rome. Cassius does want what is best for Rome, but, more than that, he wants attention. He believes that by establishing a coup, he might be able to rule over Rome. Brutus and Cassius have many such differences and contrast each other throughout the play.

During the opening of the play, Cassius tries to convince Brutus of Caesar's evils, though in reality they are nothing more than his self-confidence; Brutus is one of Caesar's best friends, and does not see any reason why Caesar should not rule. Cassius is very sly in his argument--he tries to bring down Caesar in Brutus' eyes.

Cassius compares Caesar to a Colossus (a gigantic statue "whose legs, according to legend, spanned the harbor at Rhodes," (20)) at the same time he is berating him:

Why, man, 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. / Men at some time are masters of their fates. / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings. (I ii 142-152)

In calling "we" underlings, he is saying that they were like slaves, but he also is therefore implying that Caesar is a slave-driver-- he controls the underlings, and is equally, if not more responsible for the lack of freedom.

If Cassius is sly here, then Brutus is certainly naïve. Brutus fails to realize that...