What are the strategies that Cassius uses to persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare?

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was going to be named dictator for life.  Marc Antony offered the crown to Caesar, and he refused it three times.  However, Caesar does have a lust for power.  He knows that the authority that he desires must come from the Roman senate. 

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar begins on February 15, 44 B.C. It is the Feast of the Lupercal. The setting is a public place.   Act I, Scene ii, introduces the conspiracy plot to assassinate Caesar.  Cassius, a Roman general and senator, has begun a plot to kill Caesar.  Cassius sees Brutus standing off not taking part in the festivities.  He knows that Brutus needs to join the conspiracy because of his popularity and close association with Caesar.

Cassius needs to have Brutus as part of his plan to put Caesar to death.  He goes to Brutus and asks him what is wrong.  Brutus tells him that his problem is that he is at war with himself.  Cassius says that everyone in Rome acknowledges Brutus as a great man with the exception of Caesar.

Brutus asks Cassius: “Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius…”

Cassius defends he reasons for not wanting to live under the rule of Caesar. He would rather be dead than to live under the domination of Caesar. He was born the same as Caesar. Why is Caesar given so much power?

Cassius offers several anecdotes which demonstrate his disdain for Caesar. He further tries to show that there is no reason that Caesar should be the only man to rule Rome. 

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Julius Caesar

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