Analysis of Caius Cassius' Character

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Analysis of Caius Cassius Character
Caius Cassius plays one of the most important roles in William Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar”, which is centred round the assassination of the Roman dictator. The driving force behind the conspiracy is Cassius though there are others who are unhappy with the state of affairs under the prevailing system. Yet, they do not take an active part in the design to get rid of powerful Caesar. So, it is not incorrect to state that the chief protagonist of the assassination plot is no one but Caius Cassius. "Let me have men about me that are fat;

Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous." Act1.ii.
In the Act 1 Scene ii of the play, we come across the above quotation where Caesar expresses, to Mark Antony, his assessment of Cassius’ personality although the latter plays down Caesar’s fear of Cassius stating that he is not a dangerous individual but a noble Roman. Caesar’s estimation of Cassius encapsulates in a nutshell the true face of a schemer who is out to deter, through jealousy or to gain personal advantages, the advancement of others. We do not know the truth behind this assertion. But Caesar believes firmly that Cassius is a person with evil intentions. Let us find out, based on the facts in the play, whether what Caesar believes is true.The initial appearance of Cassius, in the play, is in the Act 1.ii where he meets Brutus and joins him in conversation. Being a subtle thinker who visualizes everything from all standpoints, it is reasonable to conclude that he had not failed to pre-plan minutely the plot prior to his implanting the embryo, against Caesar, in Brutus’ mind. Cassius is crafty enough not to touch upon the topic directly. First he tries to find out Brutus’ personal opinion about Caesar’s authoritarian rule. So, he drifts the conversation towards that direction when Brutus drops the casual hint:

“Nor construe any...
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