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Why is it important that Cassius gets Brutus to join the conspiracy in Shakespeare's...

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robea039 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM via web

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Why is it important that Cassius gets Brutus to join the conspiracy in Shakespeare's Julius Caeser?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 9, 2012 at 8:04 PM (Answer #1)

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This is an important question. There are two main reasons why it is important for Cassius to get Brutus to join the conspiracy. 

First, if Cassius can get Brutus to join the conspiracy, then it would be much better for public relations. In other words, the people respect Brutus and trust him. Therefore, if Brutus is marked with the conspirators, the people will believe that Caesar was aiming at kingship and that the assassination was necessary. 

Second, Brutus has a veritable heritage as his great ancestor of the same name was part of a conspiracy to rid Rome of its first kings. This family connection would bring greater legitimacy to the cause of the conspirators. 

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mmz | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 25, 2012 at 6:03 AM (Answer #2)

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simply because the commons  consider Brutus as a very honourable man accordingly they do love and respect him so when brutus say that   Caesar was a proud man and that he deserved his death they'll believe him. Brutus for cassuis is like the rich alchemy that turns every cheap and mean thing into gold

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:40 PM (Answer #3)

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In addition to the important reasons given by previous answers, we may also observe that there is more than a hint that the scheming Cassius would rather like to bring Brutus down to his own level. Cassius's soliloquy at the end of Act I, scene iii is absolutely crucial here, part of which is quoted below:

Well, Brutus, thou art noble: yet, I see,

Thy honourable metal may be wrought 

From that it is disposed, Therefore it is meet

That noble minds keep ever with their likes:

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus.

Cassius appears to be playing the part of the scheming villain to perfection, here. He remarks that Brutus is 'noble' but can still be influenced to actions less than 'honourable'. He says that worthy men like Brutus should only keep company with like-minded people because no-one is 'firm' enough to resist all temptation. He implies, therefore, that, by associating with himself (Cassius) Brutus can be swayed from his noble high ground.

We have seen, in this scene, that Cassius has been plying Brutus with a variety of reasons as to why Caesar should be killed, and that Brutus does have misgivings about Caesar's political position which Cassius does his utmost to exploit. When left alone, Cassius appears envious not just of Caesar but also of Brutus's great friendship with Caesar. We sense that, setting aside all other factors, it is important for Cassius to get Brutus to join the conspiracy simply because he wants to wreck the personal friendship between Brutus and Caesar. 

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