Discuss the ways in which Shakespeare reveals the characters of Brutus and Cassius in the play 'Julius Caesar'.

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Discuss the ways in which Shakespeare reveals the characters of Brutus and Cassius in the play ‘Julius Caesar’.

The play ‘Julius Caesar’ written in 1623 by William Shakespeare depicts the scenes in Rome around 44 BC. At the time Rome was a republic lead by their head senator ‘Julius Caesar’ lead them. His great leadership led to the jealousy of many of the other senators resulting in a conspiracy to assassinate him. The two main conspirators are Marcus Brutus and Caius Cassius, Shakespeare presents them as very different characters who have their own and very different reasons for murdering Caesar.

In the start of the play Brutus and Cassius are attending the feast of Lupeical, celebrated by the people of Rome. Brutus is a very close friend of Caesar and admires and loves him as a leader and a friend. “I love him well.” Brutus asks about shouting from the crowd and Cassius answers him. He is talking about Caesar to Cassius as he said before that he fears Caesar becoming king. It shows how he loves and admires Caesar and his respect for him is huge, it also shows how Cassius feels for Caesar at the beginning of this play.

Brutus and Cassius stand together all throughout this play, they defend each other and work together by making the plan work using each others ideas. Cassius starts to manipulate Brutus when he hears the roar from the crowd and says: “I fear…” Cassius sees this as a weakness in Brutus and starts to see that he can by changed easily.

References to Brutus’ honour are made by other characters throughout the play. “Well, Brutus, thou art noble” Cassius says this in a soliloquy at the end of scene two and Shakespeare says this to show the audience what he is  really thinking, Shakespeare was using the word metal as a metaphor for character implying that there is a weakness. It is for this reason that Cassius is determined on enlisting Brutus’ support because he knows if Brutus is seen to be part of the company people will accept it as necessary and the right course of action. Brutus stands by his honour. “For let the gods so speed me as I love the name of honour more than I fear death.” When Cassius first hints to him of his intentions towards Caesar, Brutus responds saying how he is indifferent to Cassius’s thoughts and how he honours and loves Caesar.  However Brutus does acknowledge that him loyalty is to Rome. “Brutus would rather be a villager...”

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Cassius is also extremely jealous of Brutus’s relationship and influence over the character of Julius Caesar. “Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus: If I were Brutus and he were Cassius he should not humour me.” This was also taken from soliloquy. It shows that Cassius wants to be loved by Caesar so he gains more power and is more liked among the other senators, it also show how if he were liked like Brutus is by Caesar he wouldn’t even take part in the conspiracy but because he isn’t he decides to take part in Caesars murder. ...

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