In Julius Caesar, the relationships between Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony and Caius Cassius are very important. They show the motivations for the characters’ actions throughout the play. While some relationships may be sincere, others may be little more than one-sided political alliances. Brutus is manipulated by Cassius’ plot against Caesar. Brutus’ own naïve leads to the plot failing and ultimately his downfall.
The relationship between Caesar and Brutus is a sincere friendship. While it isn’t revealed how long they have known each other, they seem to be good friends. This friendship is the reason why, at first, Brutus is hesitant to join Cassius in his conspiracy. However, Brutus thinks that Caesar should not be in power because he will be corrupted by political power and look down on everyone else. When Brutus stabs Caesar, the latter asks “et tu, Brute?”, seemingly in shock at the fact that his friend could have betrayed him.
Mark Antony and Caesar were close friends. Antony adored Caesar and followed his every command without question. They were even related, thus being family. Antony faithfully avenges Caesar’s death at the end of the play, amassing his army and defeating Cassius and Brutus’ forces. Antony addresses the Romans at Caesar’s funeral, acting as a powerful rhetorician and convincing the plebians that Cassius and the rest of the conspirators are wrong in killing Caesar.
Cassius uses Brutus as the spearhead of his plan to kill Caesar. Since Brutus is well-respected, Cassius’ conspiracy gains respect among those who know about it. Brutus sees Cassius as a close friend and thus joins him in the plot. Brutus does not seem to realize that Cassius wants to topple Caesar out of envy. Brutus shows his naïveté in believing that conspiracy is for the good of Rome rather than a political plot.
The relationships between these characters in Julius Caesar ultimately lead to Brutus’ downfall. Antony’s loyalty to Caesar, Brutus’ love for Caesar and his trust of Cassius all drive the plot in the play. While Brutus sees Cassius as a friend and colleague, Cassius sees Brutus as a political ally in his plot against Caesar. Antony’s loyalty to Caesar leads him to avenge his friend’s death, resulting in both Cassius and Brutus’ deaths.
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