Julius Caesar

Caius Cassius Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Cassius is the instigator of the conspiracy against Caesar. Cassius served beside Caesar in many wars and even once rescued him from drowning. Unlike Brutus, who loves Caesar but is opposed to the idea of a monarchy, Cassius seems more motivated by jealousy of Caesar than by any political ideology. Indeed, Cassius begins to exhibit many of the bad qualities for which he initially argued Caesar must die, like ambition, dishonesty, and greed. Cassius is skilled at using language and his perceptive nature to steer conversations to his own ends, which is how he wins over Brutus in particular to the conspiracy. At the end of the play, he commits suicide, assisted by Pindarus, when he assumes that his and Brutus’s army is about to be defeated.

Caius Cassius Quotes in Julius Caesar

The Julius Caesar quotes below are all either spoken by Caius Cassius or refer to Caius Cassius. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The Folger Shakespeare Library edition of Julius Caesar published in 1992.
Act 1, scene 2 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Caius Cassius (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Page Number: 1.2.146-148
Explanation and Analysis:
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Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker), Caius Cassius
Page Number: 1.2.202-205
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, scene 1 Quotes

But this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why, then, this parting was well made.

Related Characters: Marcus Brutus (speaker), Caius Cassius
Related Symbols: Omens
Page Number: 5.1.123-129
Explanation and Analysis:
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Caius Cassius Character Timeline in Julius Caesar

The timeline below shows where the character Caius Cassius appears in Julius Caesar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 2
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Caesar, Antony, Brutus, Cassius, and others enter. Caesar tells his wife, Calpurnia, to stand in Antony’s path when he... (full context)
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Despite Cassius’s urging, Brutus declines to watch the race. Cassius observes that Brutus has seemed aloof lately.... (full context)
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They hear shouting, and Brutus fears that the people have hailed Caesar as king. When Cassius says that it sounds as if Brutus is against that possibility, Brutus admits that this... (full context)
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Cassius says that honor is just what he wants to discuss with Brutus. Both he and... (full context)
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They hear another burst of applause. Cassius tells Brutus that “the fault […] is not in our stars, / But in ourselves”;... (full context)
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The Lupercalia race has ended. Brutus points out to Cassius that Caesar, Calpurnia, and Cicero look angry and distraught. Meanwhile, Caesar tells Antony that he... (full context)
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Brutus and Cassius agree to meet tomorrow to talk further. Cassius urges him to “think of the world”... (full context)
Act 1, scene 3
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Cicero exits, and Cassius comes to see Casca. Cassius says that he has been walking fearlessly through the stormy... (full context)
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Casca mentions the rumor that the Senators are going to crown Caesar as king tomorrow. Cassius says that, in that case, he will commit suicide sooner than submit to tyranny. He... (full context)
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They’re interrupted by Cinna, a member of the conspiracy. Cassius gives Cinna some fake letters to leave where Brutus will find them. Then Cassius and... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
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...As Lucius answers a knock at the door, Brutus reflects that he hasn’t slept since Cassius spoke to him of the conspiracy. While anticipating the assassination, Brutus feels as though there... (full context)
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Cassius has arrived, and Lucius reports that he is accompanied by others who are concealed in... (full context)
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Cassius suggests that Cicero be included in the plot, and the others agree, Metellus pointing out... (full context)
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Cassius suggests that Mark Antony be killed as well, since he’s so close to Caesar. Again,... (full context)
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The clock strikes three. Cassius says that it’s doubtful whether Caesar will go to the Capitol today—he’s grown so superstitious... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
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...his letter first, but Caesar says that a suit concerning himself should be read last. Cassius urges Caesar to enter the Capitol rather than receiving petitions in the street. (full context)
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Popilius wishes Cassius well in his “enterprise,” prompting fears that the conspirators have been found out. Brutus urges... (full context)
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...spaniel fawning” will do nothing to change his mind about the situation. Then, Brutus and Cassius kneel, too. Caesar tells them all that he is “constant as the North Star,” and... (full context)
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...and walk through the marketplace proclaiming “peace, freedom, liberty!” As they wash themselves with blood, Cassius remarks that this “lofty scene” will be replayed many times in the future. (full context)
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...approach and be given a satisfactory explanation for Caesar’s death. Brutus readily grants this, although Cassius doesn’t entirely trust Antony. (full context)
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...hands with the conspirators, while apologizing to Caesar’s spirit for making peace with his murderers. Cassius interjects to ask whether they can rely on Antony as a friend. Antony assures them... (full context)
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Brutus takes Cassius aside, warning him that he doesn’t know what he’s doing—the people will be moved against... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
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A crowd of plebeians follows Brutus and Cassius, demanding satisfaction. Half of them follow Cassius to hear his explanation, and half follow Brutus.... (full context)
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...he says that he would sooner wrong the dead than wrong the “honorable” Brutus and Cassius by stirring the public to mutiny. Then he shows them Caesar’s will, but declines to... (full context)
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...the servant returns and reports that Octavius is now in Rome, and that Brutus and Cassius have fled the city. Antony attributes their flight to his success in stirring up the... (full context)
Act 4, scene 2
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...camp near Sardis, Brutus, Lucius, Lucilius, and other soldiers meet Titinius and Pindarus. Brutus talks with the others about a disagreement with Cassius. Aside, Brutus tells Lucilius that Cassius is starting to seem fake and overly courteous, and... (full context)
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Cassius arrives and accuses Brutus of having done him wrong. Brutus, surprised, says that he doesn’t... (full context)
Act 4, scene 3
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Cassius explains that Brutus has wronged him by condemning Lucius Pella for taking bribes, whereas Cassius’s... (full context)
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Cassius is insulted and says that he's an abler soldier than Brutus. Brutus disagrees, saying he is not... (full context)
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Brutus tells Cassius to sheathe his dagger, explaining that his quick temper is just as quickly expired. Cassius... (full context)
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Brutus and Cassius dismiss their guards and servant. Brutus explains that his temper stems from grief—Portia is dead.... (full context)
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...death, and Brutus stoically accepts the news, not revealing that he already knew. Brutus and Cassius debate whether it’s best to march to Philippi to confront Antony and Octavius. Cassius thinks... (full context)
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...vanishes. Brutus wakes the others, who deny having seen anything. Then Brutus sends word to Cassius that they should prepare to march. (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
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Octavius, Antony, and their army are waiting on the battlefield. Antony thinks that Brutus and Cassius are attacking them in order to make themselves look braver than they are. A messenger alerts them... (full context)
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Brutus’s and Cassius’s army meets Antony’s and Octavius’s army on the battlefield, and they exchange taunts. Brutus and... (full context)
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As Brutus steps aside with Lucilius, Cassius talks with Messala. Cassius says that, although he’s an Epicurean and previously gave little credit... (full context)
Act 5, scene 2
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In the midst of the battle, Brutus sends Messala in haste with orders for Cassius’s forces. Octavius’s forces appear to be vulnerable, so now is the time to pour all... (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
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Cassius and Titinius enter, with Cassius carrying a battle flag. Cassius tells Titinius that when his... (full context)
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...and Messala enter. Messala tells Titinius that Octavius has been overthrown by Brutus, just as Cassius has been overthrown by Antony. Then they discover Cassius’s body on the ground. Titinius grieves... (full context)
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Brutus, Messala, and several others enter. When they discover both Cassius’s and Titinius’s slain bodies, Brutus laments that Caesar’s ghost “walks abroad and turns our swords... (full context)