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How did Cassius die in Julius Caesar?

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nickjroxdaworld | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 4, 2008 at 2:51 AM via web

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How did Cassius die in Julius Caesar?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 4, 2008 at 5:02 AM (Answer #1)

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After being given incorrect information about the status of his friend Titinius in battle, Cassius asks his servant Pindarus to help him commit suicide.  Pindarus, bound by oath to obey his master, runs Cassius's own sword through his master's heart.

Cassius, who earlier was the instigator in the plot against Caesar, consents against his better judgement to defer to Brutus's plan to have the Roman Army attack their enemy at Philippi.  Cassius had thought that it would be better to remain at Sardis and let the enemy come to them, but as he does several times in the course of the play, he gives in to Brutus's direction.  In the heat of battle, Cassius sends his friend Titinius to approach nearby troops to determine if they "are friend or enemy" (Scene V, Act ii, line 18).  Pindaurus later mistakenly reports that Titinius has been captured by the enemy.  Cassius, distraught, says,

"O coward that I am, to live so long to see my best friend ta'en before my face!" (Scene V, Act iii, lines 34-35).

It is then that he asks his servant to help him kill himself.

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 5, 2015 at 4:34 PM (Answer #2)

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In Act V, Scene III of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Cassius is observing the defeat of his army at the hands of Marc Antony's soldiers.  Standing with him is Pindarus, his slave and trusted messenger.  Unable to accept life following such a humiliating defeat as he is enduring, and bereft over his role in the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cassius concludes that his only option is death. He orders Pindarus to kill him with his sword.  Shakespeare's play depicts the scene as follows:

Now be a freeman: and with this good sword,
That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom.
Stand not to answer: here, take thou the hilts;
And, when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now,
Guide thou the sword.

PINDARUS stabs him

Caesar, thou art revenged,
Even with the sword that kill'd thee.

Cassius has been among the most disreputable of those who conspired against Caesar, and views the military defeat of his army by that of Antony as a form of vengeance the dead Roman leader has now succeeded in extracting.  His death by the sword he used to participate in Caesar's assassination represents such divine justice.

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