How does Shakespeare rehabilitate Brutus's and Cassius's characters after their deaths in Julius Caesar?
By act 4 of Shakespeare's historical tragedy Julius Caesar, Caesar's assassination seems like a distant memory. Assassins Brutus and Cassius escaped to Greece and raised an army, and within a year, Rome is embroiled in a civil war. The Triumvirate of Mark Antony—Octavius Caesar (later known as Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome)—and Lepidus rules Rome and its western empire, and Cassius and Brutus command a rebel army in control of Rome's eastern empire.
In act 4, scene 3, Brutus has cause to remind Cassius about Caesar's assassination while they argue about bribes paid to Lucius Pella by the Sardians. The argument deteriorates into personal attacks between Cassius and Brutus. They challenge and threaten each other until Cassius offers Brutus his dagger and tells him to kill him with it.
Shakespeare is demonstrating that, despite his faults and the role he played in Caesar's assassination, Cassius is still an honorable man who is willing to die for his beliefs and...
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