Using Cassius’s words on pages 145-147 as a starting point, Analyse Cassius’s Character, Discussing his Importance to the Play as a Whole. Oscar England
“Upon what meat does this our Caesar feed, that he is grown so great” these are the troubled thoughts of one Caius Cassius; Roman general and ring leader of the conspirators. It is he; taking part in Shakespeare’s great play “Julius Caesar,” who drives the initial stages of the conspiracy against the godlike Roman general. As an Intelligent and highly persuasive political figure, his manipulation and later friendship with one Marcus Brutus will prove highly significant in the context of the play. Cassius however also takes a physiological journey within the drama as his perception of fate and superstition changes significantly. Through his political acumen and seductive nature, Cassius’ befriendment of Brutus and instigation of the conspiracy leave him as critical to the play as a whole. As the murder of Caesar forms the basis of the play, Shakespeare is prompted to advocate the conspiracy by using Cassius to provide proof that Caesar will become a tyrant. In Act 1 Scene 2 in particular, his words seethe with energy and passion as he describes Caesars reaction to epilepsy “how he did shake. Tis true, this god did shake, His coward lips did from their colour fly.” Through the use of the adjective “shake” Shakespeare portrays Caesar as weak and vulnerable and is reinforced by another insult in the metaphor “Coward lips.” The Ironic aspect that “this god did shake” presents Caesar as only a mere mortal even though he behaves like a god. This to Cassius justifies his reasoning for the conspiracy and his own private hatred. Another example of Cassius castigating Caesar is implied in the metaphor “Those that with haste will make a fire begin it with weak straws.” Here, “weak straws” alludes to as the commoners of Rome who Shakespeare illustrates as “rubbish” and “offal.” This negative diction is expresses Caesars...
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