Leadership in Julius Caesar
In Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Cassius is shown as the leader of the conspirators. Brutus, as chose by Cassius, becomes a secondary leader in the plan to eliminate Caesar. Cassius and Brutus portray specific leadership qualities in very different ways. Brutus shows he is a more sufficient leader by his bravery, integrity and selflessness. Cassius’ lack of bravery is matched up to that of Brutus at the time of their deaths during the Battle of Philippi in the fifth act.
Just before Cassius’ death, he says to Pindarus, “O, coward that I am, to live so long, / To see my best friend ta’en before my face!” “Stand not to answer: Here, take though the hilts; / And, when my face is cover’d, as ‘tis now, / Guide thou the sword.” (V.III.2536-2537, 2546-2548) Cassius believes Brutus to be dead and assumes this means the end of the battle; the outcome not in his favor. Cassius has his servant, Pindarus, kill him rather than having the courage to kill himself.
On the other hand, Brutus, hearing that Cassius has died, admits that they, the conspirators, have been defeated. Brutus bravely kills himself by his own doing rather than to someone else do it for him. “Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face, / While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?” (V.IV.2728-2729) Brutus had shown more bravery than Cassius by having his own death carried out by himself. Brutus also has a greater integrity than Cassius, shown by Brutus’ intentions for the conspirators. Brutus tells Cassius, “We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar, / And in the spirit of men there is no blood.” (II.I.787-788) Brutus is explaining to Cassius that the point should not to be to kill Caesar, as Cassius wants, but to kill what Caesar stands for. Brutus says, “Let us be sacrificers, not butchers.”(II.I.786) It can be assumed that Brutus wants to kill Caesar with honor; that he wants to be seen as someone fighting for a cause, not just a murderer.
Brutus shows higher respect toward Caesar as a person, which displays a greater integrity. Brutus is a more selfless person than Cassius and has a greater passion for Rome plus its people. At Caesars funeral, Brutus tells the plebeians, “If then that friend demands / Why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: / Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved / Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and / Die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live / All free men?” (III.II.1552-1558) Brutus’ intentions were really to help the people of Rome, rather than Cassius who secretly wanted the crown for himself. The people of Rome did not want a dictator so Brutus’ plan was to create a republic. Cassius, though, did not actually care for helping the people of Rome, he was only after the power that Caesar had.
He says. “That part of Tyranny that I do bear / I can shake off at pleasure.” (I.III.525-526) Here, Cassius is saying he can’t bear the fact of someone having more power than him. Cassius implies he’d rather kill himself than be beneath Caesar. Cassius would have been miserable if Caesar became king and became a tyrant. Brutus proved himself as a more selfless person by the way he cared for the people. Cassius was set at such a high place of being a leader, but Brutus proved he was better fit for the title. Brutus displayed leadership qualities such as bravery, integrity and selflessness that Cassius lacked. Brutus had the ability to become a leader of Rome, where he could do what was right for the people rather than gain more power for himself.
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