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In the final act of "Julius Caesar," Cassius complains to his bondman Pedarus that his "sight were ever thick" (V,ii,21) as he instructs Pedarus to watch Titinius on the battlefied and report what happens. The poor eyesight of Cassius has been intepreted by critics as symbolic of Cassius's limitations in understanding the conspiracy, his role in it, and its consequences. For, during the course of Shakespeare's drama, Cassius changes from a rationalist who explains to Brutus, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves...(I,ii,140-141) to an Epicurean, who believed that the gods took no interest in mens' affairs and omen are merely superstitions. Then, in the final act, Cassius falls prey to superstition as he alludes to the presence of omens:
Why, now blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!/The storm is up, all is on the hazard ....You know that I held Epicurus strong,/And his opinion; now I change my mind./And partly credit things that do presage. (V.i,67-78)
After Pedarus reports inaccurately to Cassius, he mistakenly thinks Titinus has been overtaken and his side has lost the war. Because he is thus ashamed of the loss of his friend and of his supposed defeat, he has Pindarus run him through with his own sword. Thus, Cassius is deceived by himself even in his death.
On the other hand, Brutus is perceived throughout the play as noble. For, as Marc Antony eulogizes Brutus,
All the conspirators save only he/Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;/He, only in a general honest thought/And common good to all, made one of them (V,v,67-72)
While he seems ridden with guilt, Brutus acts in such a way that suggests his desire to be punished as he irrationally quarrels with Cassius and rejects his advice to let the enemy come to them as the troops can rest and be better prepared for battle. Thus, when Brutus dies on his own sword held by Strato, who tells Messala,
Brutus only overcame himself,/And no man else hath honor by his death. (V,v,56-57)
He does not perish from superstition and envy, but from the realization that he has made mistakes for which he deserives punishment. Like a man, Brutus--unlike Cassius whose "sight were ever thick"--takes his punishment, not from fear or superstition, but from as a consequence of possessing a noble conscience.
Recognizing the noble conscience of Brutus, Octavius orders a burial for Brutus:
According to his virtue, let us use him/With all respect and rits of burial./Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie,/Most like a soldier ordered honorably. (V,v,46-79)
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