There are a total of eight conspirators in the plot to kill Caesar. This includes Cassius and finally, Brutus. The other six are named many times by Cassius, Antony and even Caesar and are well known public figures and senators in Rome.
They are: Casca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, Ligarius and Trebonius. They work together to recruit Brutus and to steer Caesar towards his death, collecting him from his house and accompanying him personally to the Capitol to make sure nothing goes wrong with their plan. When the time is right, they surround Caesar and all stab him, sharing responsibility for his death. When they are forced to run away they all go to fight with Cassius and Brutus.
Facts we learn about the conspirators at the start of the play:
- The six conspirators have been recruited by Cassius.
- The plot to kill Caesar is well advanced before Cassius approaches Brutus.
- They want to murder Caesar to prevent him becoming king.
Things they say:
‘Let me work, / For I can give his humour the true bent, / And I will bring him to the Capitol.’ (Decius 2:1)
Decius is confident in his ability to manipulate Caesar. He is determined to lead Caesar right into the hands of the conspirators at the Capitol.
‘O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, / That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.’ (Antony, 3:1)
Antony thinks the conspirators have slaughtered Caesar like an animal.
Things others say about them:
‘he puts on this tardy form. / This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, / Which gives men stomach to digest his words / With better appetite.’ (Cassius about Casca 1:2)
Brutus thinks Casca has grown stupid since school. Cassius says he pretends to be slow-witted but is sharp in action.
‘O conspiracy, / Sham’st thou to show thy dang’rous brow by night, / When evils are most free?’ (Brutus 2:1)
The conspirators are cautious of being recognised. They know what they are doing is dangerous and radical.
‘no man here / But honours you, and every one doth wish / You had but that opinion of yourself / Which every noble Roman bears of you.’ (Cassius 2:1)
Each of the conspirators are noblemen who value Brutus’ honour. They wish that Brutus shared the same high opinion of himself.