In Julius Caesar, how does Cassius persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy?

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In Julius Caesar, Cassius cleverly persuades Brutus to join the conspiracy by elaborating on Caesar's numerous faults and appealing to Brutus's honor. Cassius challenges Brutus to stand up to Caesar and defend Rome from tyranny like his ancestor. Cassius also manipulates Brutus by sending him fabricated letters from concerned citizens. Cassius's tactics are successful, and Brutus joins the conspirators to assassinate Julius Caesar.

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In persuading Brutus to join the conspiracy against Caesar, Cassius shows himself to be a master manipulator. Like a great psychologist, he understands what makes Brutus tick, what motivates him in life. He knows just what it will take for Brutus to take the fatal step and participate in a deadly plot that will result in the brutal murder of a man who's supposed to be a dear friend.

Cassius is acutely aware that Brutus has an enormous ego. So he plays upon Brutus's self-regard by making it seem that the most prominent citizens of Rome are begging for him to step forward and help bring Caesar's reign to an end.

To this end, he arranges for fabricated letters from concerned citizens to be sent to Brutus's house. Brutus is so convinced of his indispensability to the Roman Republic that he doesn't for one moment suspect anything untoward. This is exactly what he'd expect Caesar's enemies among the great and the good to do. They recognize, as Brutus has always done, that only he can save the Republic from Caesar's growing tyranny.

Cassius also skillfully plays upon the Roman tradition of ancestor worship in order to get Brutus onboard with the assassination plot. Ancient Romans were expected to live up to and indeed exceed the achievements of their ancestors. And Brutus is no different.

One of his ancestors helped to overthrow Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and Cassius wants Brutus to follow in his illustrious ancestor's footsteps by participating in a plot to overthrow another dangerous tyrant. In doing so, he will be adding to the glory of his family name as well as saving the Roman Republic.

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Cassius persuades Brutus to join the conspiracy by appealing to his honor and convincing him that Julius Caesar is not worthy of ruling Rome. In act 1, scene 2, Cassius approaches Brutus during the Lupercal festivities and gauges his attitude towards Caesar. Once Cassius recognizes that Brutus is vexed by Caesar's popularity and the idea that he might be crowned king, Cassius elaborates on Caesar's negative qualities and portrays him as an unworthy, ordinary individual with numerous faults. Cassius tells a story of the time he saved Caesar from drowning in the Tiber and recalls witnessing Caesar experience an epileptic fit. Cassius tells Brutus,

And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.

Cassius goes on to compare Caesar to the Colossus and asks if Romans were meant to walk under his legs to their "dishonorable graves." He then challenges Brutus's integrity by saying,

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Cassius also appeals to Brutus's sense of honor by mentioning his famous ancestor who overthrew Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. Essentially, Cassius challenges Brutus to defend Rome from tyranny by joining the conspiracy or risk living the rest of his life as a slave. In addition to portraying Caesar as a typical, unworthy civilian and appealing to Brutus's honor, Cassius also manipulates Brutus by having fabricated letters from concerned citizens sent to his home. Cassius hopes that Brutus will recognize the importance of assassinating Caesar to save the Roman Republic from a potential tyrant.

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Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join the conspriacy in a couple of ways, though the more effective way is through deception.

First, during the feast of Luprical in the first act, Claudius points out that Caesar is no more worthy of being crowned emporer than Brutus. He points out Caesars many physical weaknesses, such as his girlishness when he is sick or his inability to swim for distances. These weaknesses, however, are not enough to convince Brutus.

Casius knows that Brutus' first concern is for the people of Rome, so to convince him to kill Caesar, Casuis must first convince him that Caesar is bad for Rome. He plants the idea that Caesar is too powerful and that power causes people to be corrupt. He then convinces Brutus that the people themselves fear Caesar and his control.

To do this, Casius forges several letters from anonymous Roman citizens and has them placed around Brutus' home where he is sure to find them. These faked letters convince Brutus that the people would be better served if the threat of an all-powerful Caesar were removed.

For more information about the characters and themes in Julius Caesar, see the links below. I've also included a link to the soliloquy where Brutus decides that he must stop Caesar and why.

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. Crown him? that;
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.

Brutus is saying that though Caesar may be a good man now, too much power may change his nature, and turn him into something dangerous.

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Who convinces Brutus to join conspiracy in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?

At the opening of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Caesar enters Rome in triumph and glory from his victory over Pompey's sons, and he is now the most powerful person in Rome. Caius Cassius, a Roman senator and one of Caesar's generals, is jealous of Caesar and has aspirations to lead Rome himself. Cassius decides that Caesar must be assassinated and organizes a conspiracy against him amongst his fellow senators.

Cassius knows that he's not well liked among the people and that he doesn't have a particularly good reputation, so he decides to enlist his brother-in-law, Marcus Brutus, in the conspiracy. Brutus is well known, well liked, and honorable, and he's known to be a loyal friend to Caesar. Brutus will lend legitimacy to the conspiracy.

Unbeknownst to Cassius, though, Brutus already has concerns about Caesar's growing power and his immense popularity, which he expresses to Cassius when he hears a shout from the people praising Caesar.

BRUTUS: What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Caesar for their king. [1.2.84–85]

Cassius takes this as his opening.

CASSIUS: Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so. [1.2.86–87]

In order to plant doubts in Brutus's mind about Caesar's power and ability to rule Rome, Cassius tells Brutus a story about Cassius himself having to save a weak and frightened Caesar from drowning. He also tells him about a time that Caesar had a fever and cried out, "Give me some drink, Titinius," like a sick girl.

Brutus is starting to come around to Cassius's way of thinking, but Brutus is extremely reluctant to assassinate Caesar, his friend and benefactor. Cassius wants to make sure that Brutus joins the conspiracy, so Cassius plans to write some letters against Caesar and have them secretly delivered to Brutus's home.

CASSIUS: 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 glanced at. [1.2.318–323]

Cassius needn't have gone to all that trouble to deceive Brutus. Brutus decides for himself at the beginning of act 2, scene 1, that Caesar must be assassinated.

BRUTUS: It must be by his death . . .
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which hatch'd would as his kind grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell. [2.1.10, 32–34]

After Brutus has decided that Caesar must be assassinated, he receives another one of Cassius's deceptive letters. Even though Brutus has made up his mind about joining the conspiracy, this letter, and the ones he's received previously, convinces him that he's made the right decision.

BRUTUS: Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Where I have took them up. . . .
O Rome, I make thee promise,
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus! [2.1.49–50, 56–58]

Cassius and the other co-conspirators have gone to meet Brutus at his home, intending to convince him to join the conspiracy, but they're surprised and pleased to learn that Brutus has already decided to join them. In fact, Brutus takes charge of the conspiracy himself!

BRUTUS: Give me your hands all over, one by one. [2.1.117]

After advising the conspirators that Marc Antony should not be killed along with Caesar and discussing how to make sure that Caesar goes to the Senate later that day (the Ides of March!) so that they can kill him, he sends them off to prepare for the day to come.

BRUTUS: Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on our purposes,
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untired spirits and formal constancy.
And so, good morrow to you every one. [2.1.234–238]

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Who convinces Brutus to join conspiracy in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?

Cassius is the main conspirator who convinces Brutus to join the conspiracy, even though Brutus must come to the realization that while he loves Caesar, he loves his country (Rome) more before he agrees to become part of the plot to end the life of his leader. 

Cassius uses an array of rhetoric, including a tale in which Caesar and he are swimming across the river, and while he makes it fine, he has to go back and rescue Caesar who isn't strong enough to fight against the current and bear the weight of his own armor.  Cassius claims that Caesar is too weak, and his envy/jealousy shines through in his examples.  However, Brutus eventually weighs the pros and cons, and decides that Caesar truly is a danger to the system of government and way of life that his country enjoys currently.

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How does Cassius persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar?

When discussing a question such as this one, it is important to be aware of the personalities of these two different characters and the ways in which those personalities interact (and ultimately contribute to the shaping of the plot). Cassius is a manipulator, willing to use dishonest means to achieve his ends. Brutus, on the other hand, is honest and honorable and lacks Cassius's ruthlessness. In trusting Cassius, he is left in a state of vulnerability vis-a-vis Cassius's manipulations. For example, we see Cassius forging various letters with the intention of spurring Brutus to action. Therefore, Cassius's own duplicity and manipulation, taking advantage of Brutus's honest nature, plays a critical role in shaping Brutus's entry into the conspiracy. With that being said, I do not think Cassius's manipulations would suffice to encompass the entirety of this answer.

Ultimately, remember that Brutus is depicted as a supporter of the Republic and that he voices concerns about Caesar's potentially assuming kingship over Rome. Furthermore, keep in mind that these fears are not unwarranted. Consider, for example, how, in act 2, scene 2, the conspirators successfully play on Caesar's vanity and pride, offering him a crown in order to draw him into their trap. Given Brutus's republican convictions, one can well argue that Cassius's manipulations may not have been entirely necessary, given Caesar's own ambitions as depicted in the play.

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How does Cassius persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar?

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Cassius believes that Caesar does not deserve the glory that he receives from the Roman citizens. As the leader of the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar, Cassius tries to draw Brutus into the plot.   Brutus would bring several important aspects to the conspiracy—he is popular with the people and the other senators; his father was a well-respected senator as well; and most importantly, Brutus is a stoic, sensitive man who does not do anything without much contemplation.

On the day of the feast of the Lupercal, Caesar walks among the people, receiving the glory from recent triumphs in battle.  He lusts for power and has recently indicated his desire to be the emperor of Rome.  There are many factions that do not want this kind of ruler.

Cassius encounters Brutus outside of the arena where the celebration is happening.  Brutus appears troubled which seems the perfect time for Cassius to lay his plan before Brutus. He tells Brutus that he has been worried about him.  Brutus answers that he is “at war with himself.”

When Brutus hears the crowd cheering, he states that he is afraid that they are offering Caesar the crown.  This inspires Cassius to share his feelings with Brutus. 

Cassius begins by flattering Brutus.  He tells Brutus that he is as good as Caesar and a most honorable man. He then proceeds to explain what has happened to create in Cassius this hatred for Caesar. 

Serving with Caesar in battles, Cassius believes that Caesar is weak and womanish.

1st event

When they were dressed in war regalia, Caesar challenge Cassius to jump into the river and swim to a certain point on the other side.  Both of them jumped into the water with full armor.  About half way across the river, Caesar cried out to Cassius to save him.  He was unable to go any further.  Cassius swam to him and brought him back to the shore.

…so I from the waves of Tiber

Did I the tired Caesar. And this man

Is not become a god, and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body

If Caesar carelessly but not at him.

The resentment is obvious.  Cassius believes that he is a better man than Caesar, and that he deserves an equal footing with him.

2nd event

When Caesar and Cassius were fighting Pompey’s sons in Spain, Caesar became ill with a fever.  This great hero shook and his lips lost their color. 

 3rd event

Caesar was an epileptic.  When he had a seizure in front of Cassius, Caesar groaned and cried out for water.  He was like a sick girl.  And now, this weak man rules the world and men must succumb to his rule.

Then, Cassius gives his best argument. 

“Men at some time are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

If people do not like what is happening around them, they must speak up and do what is necessary to change things.

This is the basis for his argument for Brutus. Cassius establishes that he would rather die than be under the rule of Caesar. 

Caesar asserts himself as a powerful man who people must kowtow to if they want to survive.  Cassius will not do this.  He asks  is this what Brutus wants. 

Brutus has to think about what Cassius has said.  As a friend of Caesar, it will not be easy for him to be involved in such treachery.  If Brutus believes that it is for the good of Rome, he may be willing to be involved in the assassination that changed the course of the world at the time.

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