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What is your impression of Cassius, the protangonist, or main character who drives the...

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anewthree | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted August 1, 2010 at 6:05 AM via web

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What is your impression of Cassius, the protangonist, or main character who drives the action in Act 1?

By the end of act 1, what steps has he taken toward his goal?

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 9, 2010 at 8:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Cassius proves himself, by the end of Act One, to be a man of action.

First, he has a very long conversation with Brutus, in which he not only plants the seed in Brutus of revolt (and assassination), but he explains his own personal grievances with Caesar.  He exposes the great Caesar as a coward in describing how he, Cassius, saved Caesar from drowning.  After which, Caesar could only whimper and moan like "a sick girl."  He poo-poos Caesar's greatness with mocking:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

Once Brutus is baited, Cassius draws Caesar's attention by his suspicious "lean and hungry look," confirms Casca's participation in the plot against Caesar, and confesses to the audience (Scene ii, lines 312 to end of scene) that he doesn't really respect Brutus all that much, just sees him as a good ally to achieve his ends since he is so respected by Casear.

Pshew.  That Cassius is a doer, and really sets the action in motion in Act One.

 

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