In Act 4, scene 3, of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, how do Brutus and Cassius resolve their dispute?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act IV, scene 3, Cassius and Brutus quarrel over the letters of clemency that Cassius wrote for a man named Lucius Pella, who was accused of taking bribes. Brutus feels that Cassius should not have written these letters and says that as they killed Julius Caesar for being corrupt, they should not also succumb to base behaviors. They also argue over Cassius's apparent failure to pay gold to Brutus's soldiers, which Cassius denies. Cassius tells Brutus that a true friend should forgive another friend's faults and says: "A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,/ But Brutus makes mine greater than they are." In other words, Cassius feels that Brutus exaggerates rather than minimizes Cassius's faults, though a friend should always be kind.

Cassius and Brutus resolve their dispute after Cassius tells Brutus he will invite Antony and Octavius, the enemies of Brutus and Cassius, to "revenge yourselves alone on Cassius." Then, Cassius invites Brutus to stab him with his own dagger. Cassius says that Brutus killed Caesar, though he loved Caesar more than he loves Cassius. When Cassius reminds Brutus of the murder that they have already committed and of Antony and Octavius (who are the forces that oppose them), Cassius and Brutus resolve their dispute. 

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, it seems that Brutus and Cassius resolve their dispute in Act Four, scene three, by talking. These men have been together as friends for a long time. Their conversation becomes particularly heated, and they throw insults at each other. Brutus is angry, for one thing, that Cassius would not give him money to pay his army. Brutus accuses Cassius of acting unkindly to Brutus where he would never have done so with Caesar.

Cassius wonders that a friend (Brutus) could find fault with his friend (Cassius). However, Brutus is critical of the way Cassius acts—of his faults. Cassius thinks that a friend would overlook another friend's faults, but Brutus says he will not sink to "flattery."

When Cassius calls on Octavius and Antony to kill him as Cassius and the others killed Caesar, Brutus relents. He buries his anger, pledging his friendship once again to Cassius. Then Brutus explains that with everything else that has happened since the assassination, that he has also received word that his wife Portia has killed herself. Brutus is devastated.

The two men agree that they will not allow anger to come between them again.

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Julius Caesar

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