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Cassius is a character foil to Brutus. How is this shown in Act 1?

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babypaige621 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:42 AM via web

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Cassius is a character foil to Brutus. How is this shown in Act 1?

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asorrell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:27 AM (Answer #1)

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A lot of this has to do with their motivations.  Cassius is motivated by jealousy.  He is clearly jealous of Caesar's power and feels that Caesar is weak and doesn't deserve the power he has.  When he talks about having to save Caesar from drowning when they were younger, it shows that Cassius feels he is better than Caesar, but that he is always put below Caesar.  When talking about saving Caesar from drowning, Cassius says that even though he had to save him, "Cassius is A wretched creature, and must bend his body If Caesar carelessly but nod on him," which again shows his jealousy and contempt of Caesar's position.

Brutus on the other hand is motivated by his feelings of loyalty toward Rome.  Although Caesar is a close friend of Brutus, Brutus can see that Caesar in power would not be the best thing for Rome.  Brutus is not considering joining the conspiracy for personal gain, but because he feels it is the best thing for his beloved Rome.

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