What is the relationship between Brutus and Cassius?

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Brutus and Cassius are extremely close friends who have known each other for a very long time. It is exactly because they love each other so intensely that they feel able to speak plainly to one another, even when they disagree. Their fiercest arguments are swiftly resolved. There is a...

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Brutus and Cassius are extremely close friends who have known each other for a very long time. It is exactly because they love each other so intensely that they feel able to speak plainly to one another, even when they disagree. Their fiercest arguments are swiftly resolved. There is a telling moment in Act 4, Scene 3, when Brutus confesses that when he spoke harshly, he was "ill-tempered" and did not mean it; Cassius asks for his hand, and Brutus promises his "heart too." Early in the play, Cassius is convinced that his friend Brutus is the most valuable person he can possibly recruit to his cause. He knows that Brutus does not see himself in such a way but offers to be a "mirror" to show Brutus the qualities in himself which he does not suspect are there.

The relationship between the friends is at times turbulent, with each accusing the other of being less skilled militarily and each seeking to persuade the other to his point of view. Ultimately, however, their friendship is built not only on mutual respect but upon the deepest affection.

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In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, act 4, scene 2, Cassius calls Brutus "noble brother," but the two are actually brothers-in-law, for Cassius's wife is Brutus's sister.

Further, Brutus and Cassius are both respected Roman leaders and close friends. Cassius, in fact, comforts Brutus and reminds him that he is an honored member of society. Brutus and Cassius are also both deeply concerned that Julius Caesar will assume a kingship that could end the Roman Republic, and Cassius is clear that Caesar does not have the qualifications to rule in that capacity.

Cassius is already scheming at this point. He wants to eliminate Caesar, and he wants Brutus to help him. But Brutus is hesitant. He is less emotional and more rational than Cassius, and he needs proof that his fears might come to pass. Cassius decides that he needs to motivate his friend, but he does so in a highly dishonest way. Cassius has some letters forged, making the documents look like they come from the Roman people to express their own concerns about Caesar's potential power grab and rule. Cassius then makes sure Brutus gets these letters.

Brutus believes that the letters are real, and he agrees to join Cassius's conspiracy. The two men thus become coconspirators and then murderers of Julius Caesar. They also become exiles when they are driven out of Rome and army leaders as they raise their troops to fight the Romans. They argue now, and their friendship becomes strained. By the end of the play, both Brutus and Cassius are dead.

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