Excerpt from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act I, Scene II
In “Excerpt from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act I, Scene II,” Cassius discusses Julius Caesar’s shortcomings with Brutus, hoping to convince him that Caesar is a poor leader.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read chapter 12, in order to explore the source of the title’s allusion. In this chapter, Augustus and Hazel go to visit Peter Van Houten who has become bitter due to the losses he has experienced. His assistant thinks he has chosen to be terrible, that this is an action he has chosen. In Shakespeare’s play, Cassius tells Brutus that they owe their unfortunate status not to fate but to their own failure to take action. This is the opposite of Hazel and Augustus’ beliefs that their status is purely due to the cancer they have been fated with, and not any choices they have made. Have students discuss the symbol of the mirror discussed between Brutus and Cassius, and the idea of Caesar as a giant and they as slaves. How does Augustus serve as Hazel’s mirror? Where does the fault lie according to Cassius? Where does the fault like according to Augustus and Hazel?