In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, explain why Cassius decides to recruit Brutus as a conspirator and what he uses to entice Brutus.

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar has Marcus Brutus as the protagonist of the drama.  Strangely, one of the assassins finds himself in the place of the hero.  Brutus was a Roman politician,  popular among the other senators and the people.  Brutus was admired by Caesar for his honesty and scholarship.  

Brutus  was a stoic. Because of his philosophy, he acted only after serious cogitation on any subject.   Every event, Brutus took everything seriously without emotion.  After his death, he became a symbol of resistance to tyranny.

Brutus was an eminent orator.  Cassius  believed that it was mandatory for  Brutus to be on his side because he thought that  his oratorical skills and his integrity would help persuade the people of the necessity of the assassination after it was completed. 

Brutus was not easily drawn to the conspiracy. Cassius tried various ploys to attract Brutus to the conspiracy.  He flattered him in two ways:

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,

That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye
That you might see your shadow. I have heard
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.

Then, Cassius explains why he hates Caesar pointing out that Caesar was weak, sickly, and arrogant.  He also believed that he and Brutus were as worthy to be in Caesar’s place as Caesar was.

Later, Cassius  will have Cinna and some of the other conspirators plants letters and pamphlets around the statues and in the senate urging Brutus to take notice of Caesar’s ambiton. Cassius also had a letter dropped at Brutus’ house encouraging him to join the plot against  Caesar.

In the end,  Brutus is the only one that joins the conspiracy against Caesar for the good of Rome.  All of the others had personal reasons for murdering Caesar.

unknowngirl08 | Student

After going through the play, one can say that Cassius is a shrewd man. He decided to recruit Brutus because he knew that the people of Rome held Brutus in good esteem. He wanted to curb Caesar from growing into a powerful ruler. So, he alongwith some other senators decided to murder Caesar. He realised that if anything goes wrong they may have to face the scorn of the mob and ultimately die a painful death. But if a revered person like Brutus supports them then it will be easy to disguise their conspiracy against Caesar as a fight for their motherland will be supported by others. This will help them to achieve to goals - end Caesar's rule as well as become a hero in the eyes of the Romans.

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Julius Caesar

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