What is ironic about the way Cassius dies?

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There are several things ironic about Cassius's death in act 5, scene 3. It is ironic that Cassius is motivated to commit suicide when Brutus's forces actually defeated Octavius's army. Cassius was given the wrong information and believed that Brutus's army was defeated. Therefore, Cassius had no reason to request...

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There are several things ironic about Cassius's death in act 5, scene 3. It is ironic that Cassius is motivated to commit suicide when Brutus's forces actually defeated Octavius's army. Cassius was given the wrong information and believed that Brutus's army was defeated. Therefore, Cassius had no reason to request that Pindarus kill him, which is one reason why his death is ironic. It is also ironic that Cassius died on his birthday. Before he commits suicide, Cassius reflects on the fact that he was born on the same day that he will die. It is also ironic that Cassius does not die in battle and instead dies at a safe distance from the fighting. The fact that Cassius requests that Pindarus use the same sword that was used to kill Caesar is also ironic. Cassius's entire plan can also be considered ironic. He was initially motivated to assassinate Caesar to ensure his political authority and preserve the Republic, which ironically leads to his demise and Octavius's reign as emperor.

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There are actually three examples of irony going on with Cassius’ death.

First of all, look at why Cassius decides to kill himself. During the battle, the armies of Cassius and Brutus are not in direct contact with one another. Cassius is fighting Antony’s army, and Brutus is fighting Octavius’ army. At one point, Cassius asks one of his men to tell him how the battle is going for Brutus. The man mistakenly believes that Brutus has been defeated and captured, and tells Cassius so. Cassius says:

O, coward that I am, to live so long

To see my best friend ta’en before my face!

A moment later, Cassius, believing he is doomed to defeat and then imprisonment, tells his servant to kill him with his own sword.

Another irony is that the battle that leads to Cassius death actually occurs on Cassius’ birthday.

The third irony is that the sword that kills Cassius (his own sword), is the same sword he used to kill Caesar, which leads Cassius to say:

Caesar, thou art revenged,

Even with this sword that kill'd thee.

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