In the play, “Julius Caesar”, by William Shakespeare, Brutus was portrayed as a man of high principles and virtue. He joins the conspirators with their plan to kill Caesar for the good of Rome. On the other hand Cassius is moved by jealousy. He wants to Caesar dead out of revenge of a man who does not like him. He is jealous of Caesar’s glory and power. Therefore Brutus is portrayed as the noblest Roman.
Brutus believes in his morals and ideals and they run his life to an extent. He is perhaps the only man in the story who is not moved by personal gain. “For let the gods so speed me, as I love the name of honor more than I fear death.” Brutus acts with the conspirators only for what he considers the best interests of Rome. Brutus weighs every decision he makes according to his morals and standards. He believes that reason and logic rule the world in which people can be affected by sound reasoning. He is very honorable but he still is not prepared for the corruption in the world. He can’t believe that anyone would take action without reasoning the effects that could take place. Brutus can’t see motives that are less noble then is own, “Well, Brutus, though art noble; yet I see thy honorable mettle may be wrought from that it is disposed; therefore it is meet tat noble minds keep ever with their likes; for who so from that cannot be seduced?” Brutus makes two very grave mistakes because of his high principles, he lets Antony live and worse yet he lets him speak at the funeral of Caesar. He doesn’t stir up the emotion that the people were looking for when Antony did. But even though Brutus joined the conspirators he felt so much remorse for what he had done that he had dreams of Caesar’s ghost coming to him. In the end he falls on his sword, which goes against most of his standards which says that men should take whatever fate is handed to them. However, in his last moments he had the satisfaction of knowing that he stood by his principles to the end and he died by them.
However, completely opposite the nobleness of Brutus’ character is Cassius. He hates Caesar and is part of the conspiracy out of jealousy. Cassius was friends with Caesar as a child and now Caesar was powerful and popular, Cassius was jealous of this. He couldn’t understand why a man he considered no better than himself was offered the crown of Rome. Cassius blames himself for giving Caesar so much power. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Besides jealousy, Cassius is motivated by affection. He would do anything to get it, which is rather childlike, and he hated anyone that would not show him attention or that would take it away from him. His motives for killing Caesar are strictly for revenge or for personal gain. Depending on how a person treated him or how the person could help him Cassius could be ruthless or loving, passionate or distant, or gentle or unforgiving. “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much: such men are dangerous.” In the end Cassius takes his life which is the only noble thing that he did. He realized that he caused the death of a friend and that he was the measure of all things.
This story is actually about Brutus, it portrays his personal struggle of doing what is best for Rome or staying loyal to his friend. Brutus nobly takes the way of saving his beloved Rome. Brutus’ character is portrayed in more depth than any other and the story ends with his death. Brutus was simply too noble for his time. He sacrificed his friend for what was best for all. He remained faithful to his principles until the end. Everyone in Rome admired this man, and they craved his friendship, and at one point in the play the people wanted Brutus to become king. Cassius blinded Brutus of what was right with flattery and family pride. They both had two totally different reasons for killing Caesar, but Brutus was blinded by his morals. Cassius took part in the assassination out of jealousy and revenge. Throughout the play Cassius remains unconcerned in the demeanor in which he got people to join the conspiracy. He didn’t care as long as he got them to do what he wanted. Brutus knew what Cassius was doing but he let his morals hide him from the truth.
Even though every character tried to be something that they were not, Brutus was the tragic hero of the play by Shakespeare. He tried to be better than he could be and he falls. Brutus died by his morals, while Cassius just gave up, proving that Brutus was the noblest Roman of them all. “This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he, did that did in envy of great Caesar. He only in a general honest thought, and common good to all made one of them. His life was gentle and the elements, so mixed in him that nature might stand up, and say to all the world ‘This was a man”