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Essay on Julius Caesar - A Comparison of Brutus and Cassius

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Julius Caesar - A Comparison of Brutus and Cassius

 
    In the play Julius Caesar, written and preformed by William Shakespeare, there are many characters, but two, Brutus and Cassius, stood out. The play begins in Rome where a celebration of Julius Caesar's victory over the former ruler of Rome, Pompeii. The victory leads to Caesar's betrayal by his jealous companions. Senators and other high status figures are jealous of Caesar's new and growing power, while others, like Brutus, fear the tyrannical rule Caesar could enforce. The conspirators, Brutus and Cassius being the most important, assassinate Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius, better known as Antony, and Octavius Caesar, Caesar's heir to the thrown, revenge Caesar's death. Antony convinces the Roman populous to destroy the conspirators and eventually begins a war with Cassius and Brutus' armies. Both Cassius and Brutus commit suicide to save their honor and Antony and Octavius win the war. The characterizations of Brutus and Cassius show a distinct contrast in their character traits and motives for the assassination of Julius Caesar.

 

The play Julius Caesar depicts Brutus to be an extremely noble being who is well respected and honored by all Romans, even his enemies. Brutus was a loving friend of Julius Caesar and wished anything but death on his comrade, but his love and dedication to the majestic city of Rome would force him to commit anything. He fights a war to defend Rome from a king or emperor's tyrannical rule. When the war was finished, even his enemies saw that he was the most respectable Roman of them all.

 

This (Brutus' body) was the noblest Roman of them all. All conspirators, save only he did that they did in en...


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...e murder because of his jealousy of Caesar's elevated power and mounting dominance over everyone, even his friends. Though they were close friends, their motives and descriptive character traits display a distinct contrast between them.

 

Works Cited and Consulted:

Bowden, William R. "The Mind of Brutus." Shakespeare Quarterly. 17 (1966): 57.

Frye, Northrop. "The Tragedy of Order: Julius Caesar." Northrop Frye on Shakespeare. New Haven: Yale UP 1986.

Hunter, G.K. "Shakespeare and the Traditions of Tragedy." Wells, Stanley, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.

Palmer, D. J. "Tragic Error in Julius Caesar." Shakespeare Quarterly. 21-22 (1970): 399.

Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Elements of Literature. Ed. Edwina McMahon et al. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1997.

 


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