How is Brutus death less honorable than that of Cassius?I need to write an essay on how Brutus death is less honorable than than that of cassius. I need four reasons why and support to each one. I...

How is Brutus death less honorable than that of Cassius?

I need to write an essay on how Brutus death is less honorable than than that of cassius. I need four reasons why and support to each one. I can not see how Brutus death is less honorable. I do not need how Cassius death is more honorable, but how Brutus death is less honorable. Thank you.

Asked on by eileen2008

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jtemmett912 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Brutus's death can be viewed as less honorable than Cassius's death because Brutus is essentially going against everything he previously stated.  Also, Brutus cannot actually commit the act of killing himself.

Brutus was 'against' suicide.  In the statement below, he talks of how cowardly and 'vile' Cato was for taking his own life.

BRUTUS

Even by the rule of that philosophy By which I did blame Cato for the death Which he did give himself (I know not how, But I do find it cowardly and vile, For fear of what might fall, so to prevent The time of life), arming myself with patience To stay the providence of some high powers That govern us below. However, Brutus himself ends up committing suicide.  He does not actually have the courage to do it himself, so he gets Strato to hold his sword while he runs into it:

I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:

5.5.45              Thou art a fellow of a good respect;

Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it:

Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,

While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?

 

STRATO

Give me your hand first. Fare you well, my lord.

 

BRUTUS

5.5.50              Farewell, good Strato.

 

[Runs on his sword.]

 

Caesar, now be still:

I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.

Dies.

(Act 5, Scene 5)

http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/JC_Navigator/JC_5_5.html

It must be pointed out that Brutus's own wife, Portia, commits suicide as well in the play (this occurred in Act 4).  Brutus himself explains the reason for her death:

"Impatient of my absence,
And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong:--for with her death
That tidings came;--with this she fell distract,
And, her attendants absent, swallow'd fire."

Notice that Brutus does not describe his wife as 'cowardly' for taking her own life.

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