What are quotes from Julius Caesar to show that Cassius uses manipulative methods to convince Brutus to join the conspiracy?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In act 2, scene 1, Cassius attempts to manipulate Brutus into becoming a co-conspirator in the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. Cassius is aware that Brutus's participation is integral to the success of the Senators' plan because Brutus is held in high regard by the Roman citizens. Cassius initially appeals to Brutus's sense of honor and pride by telling him,

"I cannot tell what you and other men Think of this life, but, for my single self, I had as lief not be as live to be In awe of such a thing as I myself." (Shakespeare, 1.2.95-98)

Cassius proceeds to illustrate how Caesar has become revered as a god. By illustrating Caesar's exalted status, Cassius hopes to provide evidence of his ambitious nature, which will encourage Brutus to join their cause. Cassius tells Brutus,

"Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature and must bend his body If Caesar carelessly but nod on him."  (1.2.118-120)

Cassius then brings up Brutus's honorable ancestor and encourages him to take action against Caesar by saying,

"Oh, you and I have heard our fathers say, There was a Brutus once that would have brooked Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome As easily as a king." (1.2.159-162)

During Cassius's soliloquy at the end of act 2, scene 1, he discloses his plan to throw fake letters concerning Caesar's ambition from apparent Roman citizens into Brutus's window in order to manipulate Brutus into joining the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Cassius tells the audience,

"I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely Caesar’s ambition shall be glancèd at. And after this let Caesar seat him sure, For we will shake him, or worse days endure." (1.2.311-318)

gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Towards the end of Act I, Sc. ii, when left alone Cassius gives a very revealing soliloquy in which he muses on how even 'honourable' people like Brutus can be persuaded to act in a less noble fashion:

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

This quote shows how he himself is trying to manipulate Brutus into joining the conspiracy against Caesar and agreeing to his (Caesar's) murder. He has, in effect, been trying to 'seduce', or persuade Brutus to join this dubious cause of assassinating the most prominent figure in Rome. Throughout this scene he has been putting forward all kinds of arguments as to why Caesar should be eliminated, but Brutus has not joined him as yet. Cassius now goes on to plan further on how to get Brutus on his side against Caesar. He says he'll forge letters to make it seem that the people of Rome are asking Brutus for help against Caesar. Knowing how Brutus idealistically believes in the greater good of Rome, Cassius is confident that this final, faked appeal will finally sway Brutus over to the anti-Caesar conspiracy.

hilahmarca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act I, Scene II: "Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, he should not humor me.  I will this night, in several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, writings all tending to the great opinion that Rome hold of his name, wherein obscurely Caesar's ambiion shall be glanced at" (lines 308-315).

Since Cassius knows his own words aren't enough to convince Brutus to join the conspirators, he has decided to write fake letters and forge other citizens' names to them to urge Brutus further.

Act I, Scene II:  "Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find outselves dishonorable graves.  Men at some point are masters of their fates.  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Cassius is making Brutus seem like they are Caesar's slaves when the reality is they are two well respected and wealthy Sentors in Rome.

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Julius Caesar

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