How has the relationship between Brutus and Cassius, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar changed since the beginning of the play?

In Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius are equals at the play’s beginning and end, but their contrasting personalities and motivations take them along different paths toward their destinies. When the play opens, both men are Roman senators. When it ends, both die while serving as co-leaders of the forces opposing those that Antony and Octavius lead. Brutus initially sees Cassius as motivated by honor and patriotism, but his eyes are opened to Cassius’s lies and manipulations.

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The characters of Brutus and Cassius begin with a shared interest in removing Julius Caesar as Rome’s leader, but they have differing motivations for this desired change. Because Brutus is too slow in realizing that Cassius is egocentric and manipulative, he goes along with his treacherous scheme. By the time Brutus sees clearly that Cassius has lied in order to trick him, it is too late to turn back. Having set himself against Marc Antony, Brutus must join Cassius despite his serious reservations.

From Cassius’s perspective, Caesar’s personal affronts are adequate justification for killing him. Understanding that Brutus cares deeply about the good of Rome, he takes advantage of the other man’s patriotic, honorable position. Once the conspirators have killed Caesar, the group’s unity begins to fray. Brutus is dismayed to learn that Cassius forged documents and lied to him in order to pull him into the murderous plot.

Furthermore, as Antony gains popular support, Rome is torn...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 811 words.)

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