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The Audiences' Perception of Cassius and Brutus in Shakespeare

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The Audiences' Perception of Cassius and Brutus in Shakespeare

Julius Caesar was one of the most influential political and military

leaders in history, and helped establish the vast Roman empire.

Caesar’s triumph in a civil war amongst others made him the absolute

ruler of Rome, but political jealousies and fears that he would become

king among his opponents led to his assassination. In 59 BC the Senate

decided on a Triumvirate to lead them rather than electing two

consuls. The three men were Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great and Marcus

Licinius Crassus. When Caesar returned to Rome in 60 BC after a year

as governor of Spain, he joined forces with Crassus and Pompey to form

the First Triumvirate. Caesar was then elected consul for 59 BC

despite hostility, and in 58 BC he was appointed governor of Roman

Gaul. For the next seven years he led the campaigns known as the

Gallic Wars at the end of which Roman rule was established over

central and northern Europe west of the River Rhine. After the death

of Crassus, there was a power struggle between Pompey and Caesar, but

after Pompey was assassinated by one of his own soldiers in 48 BC,

Caesar was appointed as Emperor. In 44 BC, a group of senators,

including Caius Cassius and Marcus Junius Brutus, plotted his

assassination. On the Ides (15th) of March 44 BC, when Caesar entered

the Senate house, the group killed him.

In Act 1 Scene 2 we see that Cassius is trying to persuade and

manipulate Brutus into thinking that Julius Caesar is becoming too

powerful and that he needs to be stopped before it is too late. He

does this using many different techniques.

Cassius is able to make Brutus ...

... middle of paper ...

...les of this when he is

attempting to manipulate Brutus to join the conspiracy. Brutus gives

us the impression that he is very indecisive and hesitant; we also see

that he is very quiet and that Cassius overrules him in the

conversation; we do however go on to find out that Brutus isn’t really

like this. In Act 2 Scene 1, we see Brutus’ true characteristics; he

takes charge of the conspiracy and he is very commanding; Cassius

steps down. Cassius is overwhelmed by Brutus’ character and has to

let Brutus take over. In Act 4 Scene 3 we see some negative

characteristics of Brutus, he gets worked up and angry towards

Cassius, he is self-righteous and can be somewhat hypocritical. We

also see that Cassius cannot control his emotions (at one point he

asks to be killed), we also see that he can become angry towards

Brutus.
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