What causes Brutus to undertake the decision to kill Caesar in Julius Caesar?

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Brutus has to decide whether or not he should kill Caesar because he is asked by Cassius to join the conspiracy.

Brutus is a senator of Rome, but he is also from an old and very important family. For this reason, Cassius wants him to join the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar. His name will lend legitimacy to their operations.

Cassius explains to Brutus that he is just as important as Caesar, and that it is their own fault if they subject themselves to Caesar’s control.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name … (Act 1, Scene 2)

Apparently this argument is convincing to Brutus, because he admits that he worries about Caesar’s ambition and agrees to have the conspirators over to his house.

Before they arrive, Brutus has to talk himself into killing Caesar. Caesar is very important to him, and the two of them are close because Caesar is like a father to Brutus. Yet he worries that Caesar is too ambitious, and that he will keep grabbing more and more power for himself.

It must be by his death: and for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd:
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking.  (Act 2, Scene 1)

Brutus compares Caesar to a baby snake hiding in its shell.  As long as the snakeling is in the shell, it is not dangerous.  However, the minute it comes out it becomes deadly.  Brutus feels that Caesar has done nothing wrong yet, but that he is so ambitious that before long he will become a tyrant. The only thing to do is to stop him before he gets very far.

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