Shakespeare on Characters of Brutus & Cassius

Shakespeare on Characters of Brutus & Cassius -...

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ARLT 100g Masters of Power: 10 Ancient Lives Spring 2007 Plutarch’s Life of Brutus Plutarch’s lives of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Brutus served Shakespeare as the sole sources for his The Tragedy of Julius Caesar . In section 29 of his life of Brutus, Plutarch compares the personalities of both Cassius and Brutus. Does this comparison help us understand Shakespeare’s transformation of these men from figures in an ancient biography into characters on the Elizabethan stage? “. . . . Cassius had the reputation of being a formidable soldier, but also a man of violent temper who maintained his authority chiefly through fear, although with his intimate friends he was rather too apt to descend to jesting or buffoonery. Brutus’s virtues, on the other hand, made him popular with the rank and file, beloved by his friends, and admired by the nobility, while even his enemies found it impossible to hate him. He was a man of a singularly gentle nature and a lofty idealism, who stood unmoved by the temptations of
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Shakespeare on Characters of Brutus & Cassius -...

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