Julius Caesar: Brutus vs. Cassius

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  • Topic: Roman Republic, Augustus, Julius Caesar
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Contrasting Characters

In Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius are contrasting characters. They differ in the way they perceive Antony as a threat to the assassination plot, their dominance in personality, and their moral fiber. In Julius Caesar, Brutus is the more naïve, dominant and noble character, while Cassius is the more perceptive, submissive, and manipulative person.

Brutus and Cassius are very different in the way they perceive Antony. Brutus is very trusting and naïve when he judges Antony. When the subject of killing Antony comes up among the conspirators, Brutus underestimates how dangerous Antony could be and says, "For Antony is but a limb of Caesar"(2.1.178). This statement means Brutus does not think it is necessary to kill Antony and he thinks that without Caesar, Antony is worthless. Another incident where Brutus misjudges Antony is when he allows Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral. Brutus trusts that Antony will not say anything bad about the conspirators or him: "What Antony shall speak I will protest/ He speaks by leave and by permission, / And that we are contented Caesar shall/ Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies. / It shall advantage us more than do us wrong"(3.1.263-268). Brutus actually thinks that by letting Antony speak, the conspirators and he will have a better situation for themselves because it will make their plot seem honorable. Cassius, on the other hand, is a very perceptive person; he sees how dangerous Antony can be. He notices that Antony is clever and that he might not be trustworthy. When Brutus suggests that they shouldn't kill Antony, Cassius says if Antony outlives Caesar, "[They] shall find of [Mark Antony]/ a shrewd contriver" (2.1.170-171). When Brutus gives Antony the right to speak at Caesar's funeral, Cassius pulls Brutus aside and says, "You know not what you do. Do/ not consent/ That Antony speak in [Caesar's] funeral. / Know you how...
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