The Reasoning and Justification of the King's Death by Cassius

Topics: Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Julius Caesar Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: May 13, 2010
The character Cassius in the tragedy of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare constantly reflects palpable jealousy. In Act I Scene II, Cassius claims “I was born free as Caesar; so were you:/We both have fed as well, and we both/Endure the winter’s cold as well as he…”(Shakespeare, lines 5-7); and feels king Caesar does not deserve superiority over him. In this scene, Cassius is pointing out to Brutus that he and Cassius deserve the power to lead Rome more than Caesar. In order to prove these points, Cassius shares three stories with Brutus in his speech: one of when he and Caesar had a swimming contest; another when he saw Caesar sickly and frail after a fever; and lastly one where Caesar again is portrayed as a weak and sickly man. In the monologue by Cassius directed at Brutus, Cassius uses paradox, self-heroic word choice and similes throughout three separate stories to give examples of Caesar’s weaknesses. Cassius’ main goal becomes to portray Caesar as any other man; and to rationalize killing the king to gain power for (what he believes) the better of Rome, reflecting his Aristotle character.

In one of Cassius’ examples of a weak Caesar, he uses a paradox to emphasize the contrast between his views of the king and the people of Rome’s view. The people of Rome idolize Caesar because he appeals more to the townspeople; Cassius being a nobleman does not approve of Caesar reaching out to the poor. Cassius does not like how Caesar is treated superior and claims he is just a good a man as the king. He shows his disdain and jealousy toward Caesar by saying “And this man/Is now become a god, and Cassius is/A wretched creature, and must bend his body/if Caesar carelessly but nod to him” (23-26). By describing himself as a “wretched creature,” he highlights the view of the people of Rome and Caesar toward him. Because Cassius feels the people do not approve of him and favor Caesar, Cassius feels jealous and loathes being inferior to anyone. Cassius proves “the god did...
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