Give two examples that Cassius uses to show that Caesar has a weak character.

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Noelle Matteson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cassius’s explanations for why Caesar is weak actually refer to his body. First, he relates a time when he saved Caesar from drowning. Caesar dared Cassius to dive into “The troubled Tiber [River].” The two swam in the dangerous waves, but, before they made it to shore, Caesar cried for Cassius to save him. Cassius suggests that Caesar’s physical tiredness represents a weakness of resolution, especially since Caesar’s status is now nearly superhuman:

. . . And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body,
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.

Cassius then describes a fever Caesar had when they were abroad. As expected of a sick man, Caesar shook, groaned, and grew pale: “'tis true, this god did shake,” Cassius says sarcastically. He mocks Caesar for his tone as he called for a drink, comparing him to “a sick girl.” Cassius associates all these physical problems with “a feeble temper.” A weak constitution seems to signify weak character, especially since Caesar asked for help in times of vulnerability rather than remaining stoic and carrying on.

By these arguments, Cassius, driven by jealousy and ambition, attempts to drag Caesar down to the level of his fellow humans, implying to Brutus that Caesar is not fit to rule Rome.

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Julius Caesar

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