In Act IV Scene iii, what does Brutus mean by saying - "And sell the mighty space of our large honours / For so much trash as may be grasped thus?"?Refer to lines 25-26 in Act 1V Scene iii.

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brutus is accusing Cassius of having accepted bribes under his office. We're not sure whether or not Cassius actually has done it, but that's certainly what Brutus seems to think: and, as usual, Brutus is having massive problems viewing the way things really are against his political ideals:

What, shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honors
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?

Brutus is asking how Cassius, who was one of the conspirators who killed Caesar (and only because Caesar supported robbers), can now stoop so low as to dirty ("contaminate") his hands (which previously killed the "foremost man of all this world) with common ("base") bribes? How can Cassius take a bribe and mis-use his high office and position in Rome: how can he sell his high office ("large honours") for whatever rubbish ("trash") he can get for it?

So Brutus is horrified that Cassius could stoop so low as to take a bribe, considering his position in Rome.

Hope it helps!

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Julius Caesar

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