Does the play Julius Caesar say anywhere in the text about a physical description of Cassius, if so what does it say and where?I have a project about the play Juluius Caesar inwhich i have to do...

Does the play Julius Caesar say anywhere in the text about a physical description of Cassius, if so what does it say and where?

I have a project about the play Juluius Caesar inwhich i have to do basicly a character analysis, im stuck on a part that requires me to write down a physical description of cassius. I also need to give a quote from the play and cite it.

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

An extremely clever and perceptive ruler, Julius Caesar is aware of the importance of close observation of other men.  As he and Marcus Antony with Caesar's train parade the streets of Rome on the feast of Lupercal; in so doing, Caesar takes notice of Cassius and notes that Cassius has a certain look of desire and envy about him that is dangerous:

Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous. (1.2.198-201)

This is as close to a physical description as any of Cassius; however, Caesar's words are more figurative than literal.  That Cassius is "lean" means less that he is slim than it means that Cassius appears to be a man desirous of capturing power.  The implies metaphor here is that of a predatory animal who is not fat and content to no longer hunt.  The ambitious Cassius is "hungry" for power and position and will seek them when he observes any opportunity.  Therefore, he is "dangerous." With such envy and cupidity in his heart, Cassius is probably fairly young.

hilahmarca's profile pic

hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Yes, I can think of one part of the story where there is a reference to Cassius's physical appearance. It is on Act I Scene II, lines 192-195, when in an aside Caesar says to Antony:

Let me have men about me that are fat,Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.  Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.  He thinks too much.  Such men are dangerous.

Caesar is saying Cassius is skinny and for some reason Caesear trusts fat people more than skinny people and, therefore, Caesar's intuition from the beginning of the play tells him Cassius is a threat.  But to answer your question simply, the only physical description of Caussius I've come across in the play is that he is skinny.

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