ACT V – Scene.iii
Cassius observes the forces of Brutus foraging about on
the battlefield for the spoils of war, having driven back Octavius. This enables Antony’s army to encircle Cassius.
Cassius sends Titinius to ride towards some soldiers in the distance in
order to determine who they are.
Pindarus reports to Cassius that he saw Titinius get down from his horse in a throng of soldiers who were shouting for joy. Cassius mistakenly assumes that Titinius has been captured, and that the battle is lost. He asks Pindarus to stab him and Cassius dies saying, “Caesar thou art revenged.”
Titinius was, in fact, hailed by some of Brutus’ troops and he now returns
to Cassius with news that Octavius’ men have been routed only to find Cassius’ dead body. Titinius kills himself with Cassius’ sword.
When Brutus finds the bodies of Titinius and Cassius, he pays tribute to
them, saying, “Are yet two Romans living such as these? The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!”
It is difficult to get the true flavor of this scene
without carefully reading through it. It is all about the use of language, misinterpretation, confusion and communication, or the lack of it.
Shakespeare is in full flow here, and the full impact cannot be appreciated
unless viewed on the stage. The reader should, therefore, take time with this scene.
Brutus and Cassius have contrived to defeat themselves, and although
initially Shakespeare encourages the audience at the start of the play to look favorably on the conspirators’ motives, he now demonstrates that Brutus and Cassius are flawed, and so was their view of Caesar’s threat
The friendship between Cassius and Brutus was greatly tested due to the
pressures brought upon them by their assassination of Caesar and then their battle plans against Antony.
Despite all this, they maintained their friendship and love for one another. Throughout the whole play, Brutus is described as noble and honorable, although in the end, he was perhaps misguided regarding his views on Caesar. Any doubts about this are swept aside in these closing scenes.