Why does Brutus think that Caesar would not be good for Rome?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Act 1 Scene 2, Brutus voices his concern that the people have chosen Caesar as their new king. Cassius slyly asks Brutus whether he fears the prospect of having Caesar as king. He suggests that if Brutus fears Caesar being made king, then he must not be in favor of it.

Brutus readily admits that he isn't too thrilled with the idea, even though he loves Caesar. Cassius then lays out his argument for not bowing to such an ordinary man. He cites the time he had to rescue Caesar while swimming with him along the Tiber River; on a cold and windy day, Cassius and Caesar had made a bet to swim up to a point on the Tiber River.

Cassius relates that Caesar had plunged in enthusiastically enough, but was soon crying out for Cassius to save him. He relates contemptuously that he had to carry Caesar out of the river. Cassius continues to relate that Caesar caught a fever in Spain and was so weak that he cried out like a girl for a drink. He questions why such a weak man should receive so many honors and why he should be chosen to reign as a solitary king.

By this time, Brutus is more than worried that the continued shouts he hears from the people are due to some honor they must be bestowing on Caesar. Brutus is worried that Caesar will set himself up as a dictator. He feels that this isn't a good thing for Rome. Cassius himself agrees that Rome has always had more than one important man everyone looked up to. He feels it a travesty that Rome appears to now be infatuated with only one man, Caesar.

Rome, thou has lost the breed of noble bloods!

When went there by an age, since the great flood,

But it was famed with more than with one man?

Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,

When there is in it but one only man.

Brutus understands what Cassius is getting at. He intimates that he has been privately concerned about Caesar's own ambitions, as well as the ambitions of the people to make him king, for a long time. He tells Cassius that he would rather be a nondescript villager than to live as a citizen of Rome under such conditions. His statement indicates that he is willing to entertain some means of stopping Caesar from realizing his ambitious political goals.

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