MODERN JULIUS CAESAR PLOT
Act one opens on the streets of Rome. Many of the lower-class workers are roaming around the streets. Two Tribunes, Flavius and Marullus, question two citizens to find out what is going on. It turns out that Caesar has defeated his rival, Pompey, in battle, and the citizens are waiting to see the triumphant parade. Flavius and Marullus scatter the groups of workers and remark that Caesar's popularity has become too strong. They begin to take down the decorations marking Caesar's statues.
Meanwhile, Caesar and the rest of the parade enter. A Soothsayer calls out to Caesar, telling him to beware the "ides of March" (March 15th). Caesar ignores the Soothsayer and continues on his way. Caesar exits, leaving Brutus and Cassius behind on the stage. Cassius wishes to talk to Brutus and notes that he has not seemed like himself lately. Brutus admits that he has been troubled, and Cassius expresses dissatisfaction with Caesar's rise in power, and fears that he will be crowned any day. Offstage, three shouts from the crowd are heard.
Caesar comes back, remarking to Mark Antony, his second-hand man, that he does not trust Cassius. Brutus and Cassius ask Casca, a politician, what the shouts were for. Casca reveals that Mark Antony offered Caesar a crown three times, and Caesar refused each time, although he looked as if he truly wanted to take it. After the third time, he collapsed in a shaking fit. Everyone exits the stage but Cassius, who plots to bring Brutus to his side by forging letters from citizens for Brutus and against Caesar.
That night there is a massive storm and many strange occurrences. Cassius wanders the streets to meet with other conspirators who want to kill Caesar. They head towards Brutus' house to convince him to join their cause. Brutus is alone in his garden, having received the letters, which he believes to be from concerned Romans. Cassius and several other conspirators show up, and Brutus, swayed by the letters, joins their cause.
They plan to kill Caesar that morning at the Senate, before they can give him a crown. Cassius thinks they should also kill Antony because of his loyalty to Caesar, but Brutus disagrees. After the group is gone, Portia, Brutus' wife, begs him to confide in her.
That morning, Caesar is planning on heading to the Senate, but his wife, Calphurnia, urges him not to go. She has had a premonition of his death and heeds the bad omens of the night before. One of the conspirators convinces Caesar not to heed the foolish fears of a woman, and Caesar heads outside.
On the way to the Senate, the Soothsayer again reminds Caesar to beware and is once again dismissed. A man named Artemidorus, foreseeing the evil intent of the conspirators, tries to give Caesar a letter of warning, but Caesar won't take it. Inside at the Senate meeting, the conspirators circle Caesar and stab him, Brutus last. When Caesar realizes that his most trusted friend, Brutus, betrayed him, he gives in to his death. They bathe their hands and swords in Caesar's blood, when Mark Antony comes in. Antony says he will follow Brutus if he gives a good reason for Caesar's death, and Brutus says he will at Caesar's funeral.
They take the body out to the market, and Brutus calmly tells the crowd that he killed Caesar for fear he would become a tyrant. The crowd agrees with him, and Brutus leaves. Next, Antony comes up and appeals to the crowd emotionally, reading them Caesar's will which states they have all been given money, and the crowd turns into an angry mob. They decide to kill the conspirators, and scour the streets. They mistakenly kill an innocent poet named Cinna just for sharing a name with one of the conspirators.
At Caesar's house, Octavius, Caesar's named heir, Mark Antony, and Lepidus plan to raise and army. Brutus and Cassius have been driven from the city and are gathering their power outside.
Outside the city, Brutus and Cassius argue about bribery and the future of Rome. They reconcile, and Brutus admits that he is grieving over Portia's suicide. They plan to battle the next morning, and try to get some rest. In Brutus' tent that night, Caesar's ghost appears and tells Brutus that he will see him on the battlefield.
Octavius and Antony head towards Brutus and Cassius with their army. Octavius is already asserting his role as the next Caesar, as he refuses to listen to Antony's orders. The generals meet on the battlefield to exchange insults, and the battle begins. Cassius' men flee, while Brutus' are winning. When Cassius believes his best friend, Titinius, to be captured, he kills himself. Brutus, heartbroken, battles again the next day. When they have lost, Brutus also kills himself. Octavius and Mark Antony, upon finding Brutus' corpse, declare him a true Roman because instead of killing Caesar for greed and envy, he did it for the good of Rome.
MODERN JULIUS CAESAR CHARACTER ANALYSIS
Although Julius Caesar is the namesake of the play, he is only present in three scenes. Despite this, his dominant personality and public persona are highly present throughout. He carries himself with importance and describes himself as "the northern star", always constant and steady. He chooses not to believe in signs and omens, putting his personal needs last before the needs of the people. Even after his death, he remains fixed in the minds of the characters, and his ghost continues to haunt Brutus until his eventual death.
The wife of Julius Caesar, Calphurnia acts as Caesar's private, inner guide. The night before Caesar's death, Calphurnia is plagued by nightmares of people bathing themselves in a fountain of Caesar's blood. She predicts his death, and begs him the next day not to go to the Senate. By standing up for her beliefs proves her to be worthy of a man like Julius Caesar. Because Caesar doesn't listen to Calphurnia and her warnings, it ends in his eventual death.
The true protagonist of the play, Brutus is a well-loved Roman citizen. He is torn between his inner and outer self, which causes him to struggle greatly. On one hand, he is Caesar's close friend and has a strong respect, even love, for the man. However, he believes Caesar to be capable of great evil because of his ambition. He fears that, in Caesar's reign, Rome will cease to be a democracy, and puts his love of Rome above his personal feelings for Caesar. Because of his rational nature and inability to manipulate, however, he fails to sway the people in his opinion and dies a noble death after the battle.
Brutus' wife, Portia is only present for one scene in the play, yet proves herself to be an admirable and worthy woman. After Brutus joins the conspirators, Portia begs him several times to be allowed into his confidence. When her strength and conviction alone do not convince him to confide in her, she cites her father and brother as evidence of her honor and strength. Brutus acknowledges that he is not worthy of such a woman and agrees to confide in her. Portia, as Brutus' private self, displays correct foreshadowing of events when she kills herself, knowing that Brutus will die, as well.
Cassius is one of Brutus' close friends, and the central conspirator against Caesar. While Brutus goes against Caesar for the good of Rome, Cassius is a conspirator because he believes all the glory should not be given to one man. He questions why Caesar is better than everyone else, and why he should get so much glory. Cassius also wants to kill Antony, while Brutus believes that to be unnecessary bloodshed. True to his less-than-noble nature, Cassius' death was not as noble as Brutus'. He dies do to a misunderstanding and is too cowardly to kill himself, having his slave do the deed for him.
Mark Antony is Caesar's right-hand man and the primary reason for the public backlash against Brutus and Cassius after Julius Caesar's death. After Caesar's death, Mark Antony swears loyalty to Brutus and the other conspirators, shaking their hands. When they are gone, however, he reveals that he will stop at nothing to exact revenge for Caesar's death. Antony manipulates the crowd at Caesar's funeral, saying that Brutus and Cassius are honorable men, yet lamenting at the stab wounds caused by them on Caesar's body, turning the crowd into an angry mob.
Caesar's appointed son and heir, Octavius arrives in the city after Caesar's death. He immediately joins forces with Antony in order to go up against Brutus and Cassius. While Octavius' character is not shown enough to see great depth, he is primed to replace Caesar as the next ruler of Rome. On the battlefield, Octavius refuses to follow Antony's orders, and, from then on, Antony refers to him as Caesar. This shows that the name Caesar has gone from a mere name to a title of ruler, which Octavius stands to inherit.
Other than Brutus and Cassius, there are many conspirators against Caesar. They include Casca, Trebonius, Ligarus, Decius, Metellus, and Cinna. While their true motives for killing Caesar are not explicitly known, it is hinted by Antony at the end of the play that only Brutus' motives were pure and that the others were motivated by greed, envy, and personal fear. The conspirators work together to manipulate others into joining their cause and Decius is the one who convinces Caesar to leave the morning of the Senate meeting.
While they do not take an active part in the conspiracy, a few of the politicians in the senate support the conspirators in their cause. The politicians seen in the play are Cicero, Publius and Lena. Lena realizes what the conspirators are going to do and wishes Cassius luck in his endeavor, causing Cassius to believe that Lena is going to betray them. Lena, however, talks to Caesar normally and stands back during the murder. Publius, another senator flees the scene for fear of being associated with the conspirators. Mark Antony and Octavius, after Caesar's death, execute a hundred Senators, showing that, even though they did not take active part in the murder they were still partially responsible.
Present in the very beginning of the play, the two Tribunes are Flavius and Marullus. They question the commoners about the parade and scatter the crowds awaiting Caesar's arrival. They are the first to acknowledge fear of Caesar's growing popularity, and bring to light the potential corruption that could come along with that sort of power. They are arrested for taking down decorations off of Caesar's statues.
Never named, the Soothsayer represents the supernatural and also the hands of fate. He attempts to prevent Caesar's fate by warning him of the "ides of March" and the danger in that day, but Caesar ignores his warnings. The Soothsayer briefly talks to Portia, and reveals that he does not know the exact nature of the danger Caesar is in and does not believe that Caesar will listen to him, but will warn him anyway.
Not much is known about Artemidorus besides the fact that he clearly sees the intentions of the conspirators and believes that Caesar should be the ruler of Rome. Artemidorus writes Caesar a letter detailing why he should not trust those around him and attempts to give the letter to Caesar on the morning of his death disguised as a petition. Caesar refuses to read the letter, stating that his personal matters will be dealt with after those of the common good.
Cinna the Poet
Cinna the poet is an unfortunate man who happens to share the same name as Cinna the conspirator. He is killed by the enraged mob, even though he is innocent of conspiracy, because they mistake his identity for Cinna the traitor. His death shows that the mob does not listen to reason, and that they can commit terrible acts in the name of revenge.
Lucilius and Titinius are the two main soldiers in the last half of the play. Lucilius is Brutus' general and Titinius Cassius'. Both are extremely loyal to their commanders and are prepared to make sacrifices for them. Lucilius pretends to be Brutus when he is captured so that Brutus can get away safely, and tells Antony that he will never capture Brutus alive. Titinius risks his life for Cassius, and when he finds Cassius has killed himself, Titinius uses the same sword to end his own life. Both are recognized as noble Romans.
EXCERPT FROM JULIUS CAESAR IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE ENGLISH
Scene 1: Rome. A street.
Enter Flavius, Marullus and certain Commoners
Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home!
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a laboring day without the sign
Of your profession?--Speak, what trade art thou?
Hey! Go home you lazy bums. Is this a holiday? What’s going on? This is a work day. What is your occupation?
Why, sir, a carpenter.
I am a carpenter, sir.
Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?--
You, sir; what trade are you?
Where are your leather apron and your ruler? What are you doing in your best clothes? What is your occupation, sir?
Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you
would say, a cobbler.
I am a cobbler, sir.
But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
But, what do you do? Answer me, honestly.
A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
I mend bad soles, sir. That is my trade.
What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?
That’s not a trade, you liar. What kind of trade do you do?
Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet,
if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
Please don’t be angry, sir. I can show you.
What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
What do you mean? Show me? Are you getting smart with me?
Why, sir, cobble you.
I mean fix your shoes.
Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
Oh, you are a shoe repairman.
Truly, Sir, all that I live by is with the awl; I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl.
I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in
great danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's-leather have gone upon my handiwork.
Yes, sir. I live by the awl. I am not a political man. I am like a doctor to old shoes. I save their lives when they are in danger. I have mended many a proper man’s shoes.
But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
Why are you not in your shop, today? Why are you leading these men around?
Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes to get myself into more work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph.
I am hoping to get more work for myself by wearing out their shoes. But, sir, we have all taken off work to see Caesar and celebrate his success.
Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day with patient expectation
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks
To hear the replication of your sounds
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
What is he celebrating? What has he done to receive such adoration? You idiots! Once, you did whatever you could to cheer on Pompey as he rode through the city of Rome. Now, you put on your best clothes and take off work to celebrate Pompey’s murderer. Go home and pray to the gods to keep the plague away you deserve for such a showing of ingratitude.
Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
Assemble all the poor men of your sort,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
Go on my fellow countrymen, and to make amends for your wrongdoings, go to the river Tiber and cry until its banks overflow.
Exit all the Commoners.
See whether their basest metal be not moved;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I. Disrobe the images,
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.
Look at those morons leaving, speechless. Let’s go down towards the Capitol and take the decorations from the statues.
May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
Can we do that? You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about
And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
It doesn’t matter. I don’t want any of the statues decorated for Caesar. Make sure you disperse any of the crowds. If we take away his supporters, maybe he will be more realistic and start treating us fairly, instead of using fear.
Scene II: A public place.
Flourish. Enter Caesar. Antony, for the course. Calpurnia, Portia, Decius Brutus, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca. A great crowd following, among them a soothsayer.
Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
Be quiet, everyone! Caesar speaks.
Here, my lord.
Here I am, my lord.
Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his course.--Antonius,--
You are standing in Antony’s way when he runs the race. Antony
Caesar, my lord?
Yes, my lord?
Forget not in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
Don’t forget to touch Calpurnia when you begin to race. The old men say if a childless woman is touched in this holy race, she’ll become fertile.
I shall remember.
When Caesar says "Do this," it is perform'd.
I won’t forget. When you tell me to do something, it is as good as done.
Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
Okay, then. Get going, and don’t leave out any rituals.
Ha! Who calls?
Who’s calling me?
Bid every noise be still.--Peace yet again!
Be quiet everyone!
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry "Caesar"! Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Who’s calling me? I hear a shrill voice over the music crying, “Caesar!” Speak, I’m listening.
Beware the Ides of March.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
Who is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.
A soothsayer is telling you to beware of March 15th.
Set him before me; let me see his face.
Bring him to me. I want to see his face.
Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
Fellow, come out of the crowd. Look at Caesar.
What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
What do you want to say to me now? Speak again.
Beware the Ides of March.
Beware of March 15th.
He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
He’s crazy. Let’s leave.
Exit all except Brutus and Cassius.
Will you go see the order of the course?
Are you going to watch the race?
No, not me.
I pray you, do.
Oh, please do.
I am not gamesome; I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
I don’t care for sports like Antony, but don’t let me stop you, Cassius. I’ll leave.
Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
Brutus, I have observed lately that you don’t seem to have the same feelings towards me, you once had. You have been stubborn and unfriendly to me, your friend who loves you.
Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--
Among which number, Cassius, be you one--
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Cassius, don’t be fooled. If I have looked differently lately, it has nothing to do with you. I have been preoccupied with personal affairs. So, don’t worry about our relationship. Just know, that I am at war with myself and haven’t been myself.
Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Well then, let me tell you I have been keeping some very interesting thoughts to myself. Brutus, can you see your face?
No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself
But by reflection, by some other thing.
No, Cassius, the eye cannot see itself, except in its reflection.
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard
Where many of the best respect in Rome,--
Except immortal Caesar!-- speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
True, but that’s too bad. I wish you could see what others think about you. Many respect you almost as much as Caesar. They wish you could do something about the tyranny of today’s government.
Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Cassius, to what are you alluding? It sounds like something dangerous. I don’t have it in me.
Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;
And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus;
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard
And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself, in banqueting,
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
Good Brutus, listen to what I have to say. Let me be your mirror. If you don’t believe me to be genuine in my observations, then consider me dangerous.
Flourish, and shouts.
What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Caesar for their king.
What does the shouting mean? I am afraid the people choose Caesar for king.
Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
You fear it? Then, I must believe you would have it otherwise.
I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well,
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honor in one eye and death i' the other
And I will look on both indifferently;
For let the gods so speed me as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death.
I wouldn’t, Cassius. I love him very much. So, what do you want to tell me? What is so important? If it is good for everyone, then I will listen even if it means death. I love honor more than I fear death.
I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favor.
Well, honor is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Caesar; so were you:
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Caesar said to me, "Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood
And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so indeed he did.
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Caesar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I sink!
I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Caesar: and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain;
And when the fit was on him I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their color fly;
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his luster. I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas, it cried, "Give me some drink, Titinius,"
As a sick girl.--Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
I know you are honorable, Brutus. I also know you are loyal to Caesar. But, my point is honor. I cannot speak for other men, but for me, I cannot live worshiping a man no more special than myself. Both Caesar and I were born free men. We were friends, once, and I saved his life in the river Tiber. I have also seen him cry out like a sick little girl when we were in Spain. Now, he is looked upon as if he was a god, and I am a mere worker.
Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar.
There’s another shout. I believe they are for Caesar.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
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.
"Brutus" and "Caesar": what should be in that "Caesar"?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
"Brutus" will start a spirit as soon as "Caesar."
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O, you and I have heard our fathers say
There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king!
He does walk around the world like a giant, while we petty men walk under his huge legs and look around until we are in our graves. Men may be the masters of their own fates, but sometimes they do themselves an injustice. Why should Caesar be any more important than you? Your name is just as good as his. They are both easy to say. What makes him better than you? What has happened to Rome? Once, Rome bred many great men. Now, it seems there is only room for one. You know what our ancestors said. They would have let the devil rule Rome before a king.
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim:
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further moved. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
I know you love me, but I am not jealous. I think I know what you want me to do. I have thought of this before, but for now, I ask that you say no more. Listen to me. I had rather be a nobody than a Roman living in these conditions.
I am glad that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
I am glad my simple words have moved you.
The games are done, and Caesar is returning.
The race is over and Caesar is coming back.
As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note today.
As the crowd passes by, get Casca’s attention. He will tell you what happened today.
Re-enter Caesar and his Train.
I will do so.--But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calpurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
I will, but look, Cassius. Caesar looks angry and the rest look like a broken train. Calpurnia looks pale and Cicero looks angry, like he does in the Capitol when senators disagree with him.
Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Casca will tell us what’s going on.
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.
Surround me with fat, lazy men. See Cassius over there. He has a hungry look about him, and he thinks too much. Men, like him, are dangerous.
Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman and well given.
You needn’t fear him. He’s not dangerous. He is a well-known and noble Roman.
Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
Yet, if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd
Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
I don’t fear him, but I wish he were fatter! Cassius, if I were fearful, is the kind of man one should fear. He is well-read and watches everything closely. He has no joys, like plays or music. He rarely smiles, and if he does it’s at something he said. Men, like Cassius, are never at ease, especially around someone greater than themselves. Therefore, they are dangerous. I am just telling you what should be feared; not what I fear, for I am Caesar. Now, come on my right side, because my left ear is deaf and tell me what you think of him.
Trumpets play. Caesar exits with all his followers except Casca.
You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?
You tugged on my sleeve. Do you want to speak with me?
Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today,
That Caesar looks so sad.
Yes, Casca. Tell us what happened today that made Caesar look so sad.
Why, you were with him, were you not?
Why? Weren’t you with him?
I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.
I wouldn’t have asked if I were.
Why, there was a crown offer'd him; and being offer'd him,
he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the
people fell a-shouting.
Someone offered him a crown and he pushed it aside with the back of his hand, like this. Then, the people started shouting.
What was the second noise for?
What was the second shout for?
Why, for that too.
They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
They shouted three times. What was the last cry for?
Why, for that too.
Same reason as the first two.
Was the crown offer'd him thrice?
Was the crown offered to him three times?
Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbors
Yes and each time he turned it down gently, and the crowds started shouting.
Who offer'd him the crown?
Who offered him the crown?
Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
Tell us how it happened.
I can as well be hang'd, as tell the manner of it: it was
mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown;--yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these
coronets;--and, as I told you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he
offered it to him again: then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by; and still, as he refused it, the rabblement shouted, and clapp'd their chopt hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Caesar, for he swooned and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
I just as soon be hanged as to tell it, it was so foolish. I didn’t pay much attention. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown. It was really just one of those head pieces. Anyway, Caesar turned it down, although I thought he wanted it. Then, Antony offered it to him again, and he pushed it away, but this time his hand stayed on it longer. Then, the third time Antony offered it the crowd went wild throwing up their sweaty hats and yelling that Caesar passed out. As for myself, I didn’t dare laugh, for fear of breathing in the stench.
But, soft! I pray you. What, did Caesar swoon?
Tell us again. Did you say Caesar fainted?
He fell down in the market-place, and foam'd at mouth, and was speechless.
He fell down in the market-place and began foaming at the mouth. He couldn’t even speak.
'Tis very like: he hath the falling-sickness.
Sounds like he has the falling sickness.
No, Caesar hath it not; but you, and I,
And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.
No, Caesar doesn’t have it, but we do.
I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him,
according as he pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.
I don’t know what you mean, but I am telling the truth. The crowd responded to him in pleasure and displeasure, just like they do in the theater.
What said he when he came unto himself?
What did he say when he came around?
Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common
herd was glad he refused the crown, he pluck'd me ope his
doublet, and offered them his throat to cut: an I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues:--and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches where I stood cried, "Alas, good soul!" and forgave him with all their hearts. But there's no heed to be taken of them: if Caesar had stabb'd their
mothers, they would have done no less.
Before he fell, he opened up his robe and offered them his throat to cut. If I were a different man, I might go to hell with that offer. Then, he fainted. When he came back around, he said it was just his illness. Three or four women by me cried, “Ah, poor soul!” But, they would have done that if Caesar had just stabbed their mothers.
And, after that he came, thus sad away?
And after that, he came back looking so sad?
Did Cicero say any thing?
Did Cicero say anything?
Ay, he spoke Greek.
Yes, he spoke in Greek.
To what effect?
What did he say?
Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face
again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if could remember it.
I don’t know. It was all Greek to me, but I can tell you those who understood him were smiling and shaking their heads. Also, Marullus and Flavius were punished for taking the decorations off the statues of Caesar. There was some more foolishness, but I can’t remember.
Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?
Will you have dinner with me tonight, Casca?
No, I am promised forth.
No, I already have plans.
Will you dine with me tomorrow?
How about tomorrow night?
Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.
Yes, if I’m alive and you still will have me and of course if the food’s any good.
Good; I will expect you.
Good, I’ll be expecting you.
Do so; farewell both.
You do that. Goodbye, fellows.
What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
He was quick mettle when he went to school.
What a forward guy he has become! He was always so shy in school.
So is he now in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprise,
However 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.
He’s smart though, even if he plays stupid. He comes across as abrasive, but it’s just a way to get people to listen to him.
And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
Tomorrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,
Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
You’re probably right. I’ve got to go, though. If you want to talk tomorrow, you can come to my house, or I will go to yours.
I will do so: till then, think of the world.--
Sounds good. Till then, think about the world.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honorable metal may be wrought,
From that it is disposed: therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus;
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
He should not humor me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
Well, Brutus, you are noble, but not so noble that you can’t be swayed. That’s why we must stick together. Caesar may not like me, but he loves Brutus. Now, if I was Brutus and he was me, he wouldn’t have listened to me tonight. So, I will write several letters in different handwriting to disguise their true sender to convey the feelings of Rome; Brutus is loved and Caesar is too ambitious. After that, let’s see how long Caesar keeps his throne or worse.