Based on each character's strengths and weaknesses, who would make the better soldier, Cassius or Brutus?Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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While he is flawed in that his love for Brutus prevents his better judgment at times, that Cassius would be the better warrior and strategist if his counsels were not disputed is evinced throughout Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

  • Cassius is, as Ceasar himself remarks, "lean and hungry," qualties that motive men to conquer, which is the goal of all soldiers.
  • Initially, he does not believe in fate, as does Brutus.
  • Cassius is cautious and mistrustful of men.  He immediately questions Marc Antony, Caesar's friend, about his motives in making an agreement with him and the conspirators.
  • Cassius understands that conquerors eliminate their enemies; therefore, he suggests killing Marc Antony along with Caesar:

 I think it is not meet
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar. We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all, which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together. (2.1.163-169)

  • After the assasination of Caesar, he counsels the noble-minded Brutus to not allow Marc Antony to speak before the Roman people because Antony may stir the crowd against them.
  • He realizes the importance of being decisive and urges Brutus to act quickly on things.
  • In Act V, he suggests that his and Brutus's troops wait at Sardis and make the enemy forces march to them, thus tiring the enemy rather than their troops.  Then, their troops can be rested and battle-ready.  But, Brutus refuses to do this, and this decision if fatal.  At the end of the play, Cassius also falls prey to superstition, but, again, he seems influenced by his friend Brutus, who is greatly flawed in his commitment to principle over practicality.

 

 

 

 

 

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