Gaius Cassius Longinus, or Cassius, for short, is the main antagonist of the 1599 play Julius Caesar, which was written by the famous scriptwriter, William Shakespeare.

In the Play

Cassius was a Roman senator who was the mastermind behind the assassination of Julius Caesar, a well-respected man of the Roman military. When he heard news that Caesar intended to make himself a king and to also do away with the already established system, Cassius decided that Caesar had to die so that the system could prevail. However, he knew that he needed a public figure who was well-liked by his peers so that when they do kill Caesar, their murder would be seen as justified, because the Romans disliked the idea of being governed by a king, at that time. This is where Brutus came in.

Marcus Brutus was a praetor, as well as the brother-in-law of Cassius Longinus. Brutus was one of Caesar's closest friends, and he was also the one who was the most intimate with him. In the play, Cassius manipulated Brutus into helping them assassinate Caesar, and after much discussion, Brutus ultimately decided that betraying his friend was best for Rome.

On March 15, 44 BC, Caesar arrived to the Capitol building in Rome, and he was immediately met by the conniving conspirators. After one of the conspirators caught Julius off guard, Cassius and his cohorts proceeded to stab the defenseless Caesar multiple times. After Caesar died, Brutus and his fellow conspirators later made a speech to the public concerning Julius' death by saying that it was for the best for Rome. However, Brutus and his fellow traitors were forced to flee Rome after Mark Antony convinced the crowd that they were traitors to Rome, and that Caesar was going to publicly deposit money to them as evident in his will.

In the final act of the play, Cassius and Brutus engage in a battle with Caesar's adopted son, Octavius, on the mountain of Philipi. Knowing that he and his brother-in-law may as well die in the upcoming battle ahead, he bid Brutus farewell, and he then took his position on the battlefield. Later on, he thought that his friend, Titinius, was taken as a prisoner-of-war by the enemy. Unwilling to live with the fact that one of his friends would most likely be tortured for his treachery, he asks his servant, Pindarus, to run him through with his own sword. Titinius later comes back from the fight, and discovers that Cassius had killed himself. In despair, Titinius joins him in death by killing himself.