Is Cassius Caesar's friend?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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No, Cassius is not Caesar's friend. Their relationship is nothing like the relationship between Brutus and Caesar. Note what Cassius says about Caesar in his soliloquy at the very end of Act 1, Scene 2.

Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.

My edition of Julius Caesar footnotes "bear me hard" as "bear a grudge against me."

Caesar expresses a very negative opinion of Cassius while talking to Antony in Act 1, Scene 2.

Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.

He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

And a little later

Such men as he be never at heart's ease

Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,

And therefore are they very dangerous.

Cassius may have a personal reason for wanting Caesar assassinated. He may be afraid that if Caesar attained absolute power he would purge a number of Romans including himself. Cassius is a very selfish person who cares much less about the good of Rome than about the good of Cassius.

So Cassius and Caesar are both afraid of each other. They are not friends.


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