Flourish. Enter CAESAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS BRUTUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by. William Shakespeare. Paraphrase by. Kathy Livingston medical-site.info Caesar's assassination is just the halfway point of Julius Caesar. The first part of the Brutus and Cassius escape as Antony joins forces with Octavius Caesar.
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Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is the tragic true story of the betrayal and assassination of Roman ruler Julius Caesar in 44 bc. After successfully conquering much.
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?
Be gone! Run to your houses, fall upon your knees, Pray to the gods to intermit the plague That needs must light on this ingratitude. FLAVIUS 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.
Exeunt all the Commoners. Caesar speaks. When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd. Thunder and lightning. Why are you breathless? O Cicero, I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam, To be exalted with the threatening clouds: But never till to-night, never till now, Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven, Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction. CASCA A common slave--you know him well by sight-- Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn Like twenty torches join'd, and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. Besides--I ha' not since put up my sword-- Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who glared upon me, and went surly by, Without annoying me: And yesterday the bird of night did sit Even at noon-day upon the market-place, Hooting and shrieking.
When these prodigies Do so conjointly meet, let not men say 'These are their reasons; they are natural;' For, I believe, they are portentous things Unto the climate that they point upon. But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things themselves. Come Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow? I cannot, by the progress of the stars, Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say! I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly. When, Lucius, when? Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out, 'Help, ho!
Enter a Servant. Decius Brutus loves thee not: There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Caesar. If thou beest not immortal, look about you: The mighty gods defend thee! My heart laments that virtue cannot live Out of the teeth of emulation. If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayst live; If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive. Why dost thou stay? O constancy, be strong upon my side, Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might. How hard it is for women to keep counsel! Art thou here yet? Run to the Capitol, and nothing else? And so return to you, and nothing else? In this speech, Cassius exposes both his Caesar refusing the crown offered him by Antony. Using a play on words, X ActI. It is now the evening of the Ides of March and a storm rages on Rome. Casca meets Cicero on the street and tells him of the strange and eerie sights he has seen.
Cassius arrives and Casca gives him the news that the Senate means to crown Caesar king the following day. Now with a heightened sense of urgency, Cassius knows he must pull the forces of the conspiracy together immediately. Brutus must join the conspiracy if it is to be seen as a noble enterprise. Brought you Caesar home? Why are you breathless?
Casca Are you not moved when all the sway of earth Shakes like a thing infirm? Either there is a civil strife in heaven, Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction. Not sensible: Cicero Why, saw you anything more wonderful? Casca A common slave you know him well by sight Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn Like twenty torches joined; and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched.
And there were drawn Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, Transformed with their fear, who swore they saw Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets. Cicero It is indeed a strange-disposed time But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow? Cicero Good night then, Casca. Casca Cassius A Roman Casca, by your voice. Casca Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this! Cassius A very pleasing night to honest men.
Casca Who ever knew the heavens menace so? Cassius Those that have known the earth so full of faults. For my part, I have walked about the streets, Submitting me unto the perilous night, And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see, Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone; And when the cross blue lightning seemed to open The breast of heaven, I did present myself Even in the aim and very flash of it. Casca But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble When the most mighty gods by tokens send Such dreadful heralds to astonish us. You look pale, and gaze, And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder, To see the strange impatience of the heavens; But if you would consider the true cause — Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts, Why birds and beasts, from quality and kind; Why old men, fools, and children calculate; Why all these things change from their ordinance, Their natures, and preformed faculties.
To monstrous quality — why you shall find That heaven hath infused them with these spirits To make them instruments of fear and warning Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man Most like this dreadful night That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars As doth the lion in the Capitol; A man no mightier than thyself or me In personal action, yet prodigious grown And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Is it not, Cassius? Cassius Let it be who it is. For Romans now Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors; But woe the while! Casca Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow Mean to establish Caesar as a king, And he shall wear his crown by sea and land In every place save here in Italy. Cassius I know where I will wear this dagger then; Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong; Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat. Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; 80 85 90 95 X ActI.
If I know this, know all the world besides, That part of tyranny that I do bear I can shake off at pleasure. Hold, my hand. Be factious for redress of all these griefs, And I will set this foot of mine as far As who goes farthest. So every bondman in his own hand bears The power to cancel his captivity. Cassius And why should Caesar be a tyrant then? Poor man!
I know he would not be a wolf But that he sees the Romans are but sheep; He were no lion, were not Romans hinds. Those that with haste will make a mighty fire Behind it with weak straws. What trash is Rome, What rubbish and what offal, when it serves For the base matter to illuminate So vile a thing as Caesar!
But, O grief, Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this Before a willing bondman. Then I know My answer must be made. But I am armed, And dangers are to me indifferent. Stand close: I do know him by his gait. He is a friend.
Cinna, where haste you so? Cinna To find out you. Metellus Cimber? Cinna No, it is Casca, one incorporate To our attempts.
Am I not stayed for, Cinna? What a fearful night is this! Cassius repeats his question. His countenance: Cassius Am I not stayed for? Tell me. Cinna Yes, you are. And throw this In at his window. Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
Well, I will hie And so bestow the papers as you bade me. Three parts of him Is ours already, and the man entire Upon the next encounter yields him ours. Cassius Him and his worth and our great need of him You have right well conceited. Let us go, For it is after midnight; and ere day We will awake him and be sure of him. Whenever Shakespeare uses the word it is associated with the failure, or falsity of this pseudo-science. It is now the eve of the Ides of March, and a storm, unlike any ever seen, is raging in Rome.
Fire drops from the skies, bodies spontaneously combust, lions roam the capitol, ghostly women walk the streets, and the night owl was seen shrieking in the daylight. Casca enters with his sword drawn and his fright is apparent as he encounters Cicero. Despite his excellent reputation and acclaimed achievements, Cicero was feared by Julius Caesar who made things so difficult for Cicero in Rome that he was driven out of Italy in 59 B.
Cicero joined forces with Pompey, but when it became clear that Pompey was going to be defeated, Cicero pleaded for mercy from Caesar, and as was his habit, Caesar pardoned Cicero.
Unlike our modern theatres, with computerized special effects and state of the art sound systems, the Elizabethan theatre relied mainly on words to paint the scenery and suggest the sounds of thunder and lightning. Elizabethan stagehands were not without a certain amount of clever inventiveness, however, and some sound and lighting effects could be created. For example, beating drums or rolling large round bullets backstage often produced the sound of thunder.
The effect of lightning could be contrived by blowing rosin through a candle flame to create a bright flash of fire.
Shakespeare, like many other writers, uses storms to create a mood of darkness and foreboding, but here he takes the image one step further.
The turmoil of the heavens is directly representative of the turmoil present in the state and in the minds of men. The raging storm, coupled with the eerie sights that Casca describes, are signs of disharmony in heaven and on earth.
Signs and omens, by their very nature, are meant to be interpreted and the misinterpretation and manipulation of signs and omens become important thematic issues in Julius Caesar. He fears that the gods do not approve of what the conspirators are planning to do and feels that the omens bode only evil and misfortune.
In the face of the irate heavens, Casca loses his use of sarcastic prose and begins to speak in blank verse. The imagery of the storm as Casca describes it in lines 3—11 is infused with metaphorical references to Caesar. Historically, Caesar had called the senate into an emergency session set to meet on March Caesar might have instigated the session to have the Senate approve a declaration of war against the Parthenians.
However, some historians speculate that he was to be made King of the Provinces with the anticipation that, as the outlying cities of Italy accepted Caesar as King, the city of Rome would quickly follow.
If the conspirators intend to stop Caesar before he is crowned, they must do it tomorrow before the Senate has the opportunity to convene. Cassius is disgusted by what he interprets as the apathy of the Roman people, whom he sees as mere sheep that would blindly follow their leader into whatever dangers he might lead them.
Metaphorically, Cassius sees the commoners as trash and rubbish. Caesar had appointed Trebonius chief magistrate of Rome, an influential and honorable position. Caesar so loved Decius Brutus that he had named him as one of his heirs, if no other member of his family survived him. Using dishonest means to persuade Brutus to join in the group shows a blatant disregard for the true meaning of friendship.
Brutus is not being wooed to join the conspiracy because of a sense of brotherhood coming from these other men. How hard it is for women to keep counsel! Based on the possibility of what might happen if Caesar gains more power, Brutus agrees that Caesar must die. The conspirators, along with Cassius, visit Brutus and the men make their plans for the following day. She has gashed her leg in an effort to prove to Brutus that she is strong enough to endure anything he may tell her.
As he is preparing to tell her, there is a knock at the door and Brutus promises Portia he will reveal all his secrets to her as soon as possible. I cannot by the progress of the stars Give guess how near to day. Lucius I say! I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly. When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say! What, Lucius!
Brutus Get me a taper in my study, Lucius. When it is lighted, come and call me here. Lucius I will, my lord. He would be crowned. How that might change his nature, there the question. It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, And that craves wary walking. Crown him that And then I grant we put a sting in him That at his will he may do danger with. And to speak truth of Caesar I have not known when his affections swayed More than his reason.
Crown him that: Brutus hesitates at the distasteful word king. So Caesar may. Then lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel Will bear no colour for the thing he is, Fashion it thus: Brutus recalls to the audience that the storm continues; it underlines the tension throughout the scene. See commentary at I. Searching the window for a flint, I found This paper, thus sealed tip; and I am sure It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March? Brutus Look in the calendar and bring me word. Lucius I will, sir. Brutus These exhalations, whizzing in the air, Gives so much light that I may read by them. Awake and see thyself! Speak, strike, redress! Such instigations have been often dropped Where I have took them up. What, Rome? My ancestors did from the streets of Rome The Tarquin drive when he was called a king.
O Rome, I make thee promise, If the redress will follow, thou receivest Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus. Go to the gate; somebody knocks. Between the acting of a dreadful thing And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.
The genius and the mortal instruments Are then in council, and the state of man, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection. Brutus 70 Is he alone? Lucius No, sir. There are moe with him. Brutus Do you know them? Lucius No, Sir. Their hats are plucked about their ears And half their faces buried in their cloaks, That by no means I may discover them By any mark of favour.
O, then by day Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy. For if thou put thy native semblance on, Not Erebus itself were dim enough To hide thee from prevention. Cassius I think we are too bold upon your rest. Good morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you? Brutus I have been up this hour, awake all night. Know I these men that come along with you? Cassius Yes, every man of them; and 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.
This is Trebonius. Brutus He is welcome hither. Cassius This, Decius Brutus. Brutus 90 95 He is welcome too. Brutus They are all welcome. What watchful cares do interpose themselves Betwixt your eyes and night? Cassius Shall I entreat a word? Doth not the day break here? Casca No. Cinna O, pardon sir, it doth; and yon grey lines That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
Casca You shall confess that you are both deceived. Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises, Which is a great way growing on the south, Weighing the youthful season of the year. Some two months hence, up higher toward the north He first presents his fire; and the high east X ActII.
Brutus Give me your hands all over, one by one. Cassius And let us swear our resolution. Brutus No, not an oath. So let high-sighted tyranny rage on Till each man drop by lottery.
But if these As I am sure they do bear fire enough To kindle cowards and to steel with valour The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen, What need we any spur but our own cause To prick us to redress? Walter Shall we sound him? I think he will stand very strong with us. Casca Let us not leave him out. Cinna No, by no means. Metellus O, let us have him! Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear, But all be buried in his gravity. Brutus O, name him not! Let us not break with him; For he will never follow anything That other men begin.
Cassius Then leave him out. Casca Indeed he is not fit. Decius Shall no man else be touched but only Caesar? Cassius Decius, well urged. We shall find of him A shrewd contriver; and you know, his means, If he improve them, may well stretch so far As to annoy us all; which, to prevent, Let Antony and Caesar fall together.
Brutus Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, To cut the head off and then hack the limbs, Like wrath in death and envy afterwards; For Antony is but a limb of Caesar. We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar, And in the spirit of men there is no blood. But, alas, Caesar must bleed for it! This shall make Our purpose necessary, and not envious; Which so appearing to the common eyes, We shall be called purgers, not murderers. If he love Caesar, all that he can do Is to himself — take thought, and die for Caesar.
And that were much he should; for he is given To sports, to wildness, and much company.
Trebonius There is no fear in him. Let him not die; For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter. Count the clock. Cassius The clock hath stricken three. Cassius But it is doubtful yet Whether Caesar will come forth to-day or no; For he is superstitious grown of late, Quite from the main opinion he held once Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
It may be these apparent prodigies, The unaccustomed terror of this night, And the persuasion of his augurers May hold him from the Capitol to-day.
Decius Never fear that. Cassius Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him. Brutus By the eighth hour. Is that the uttermost? Cinna Be that the uttermost, and fail not then. I wonder none of you have thought of him. Brutus Now, good Metellius, go along by him.
And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember What we have said and show yourselves true Romans. Brutus Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily. Let not our looks put on our purposes, But bear it as our Roman actors do, With untired spirits and formal constancy. And so good morrow to you every one. Fast asleep? It is no matter. Enjoy the honey-heavy due of slumber. Brutus Portia! What mean you? Wherefore rise you now? It is not for your health thus to commit Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
Portia Nor for yours neither. And yesternight at supper You suddenly arose and walked about, Musing and sighing with your arms across: And when I asked you what the matter was, You stared upon me with ungentle looks. I urged you further; then you scratched your head X ActII.
Yet I insisted; yet you answered not, But with an angry wafter of your hand Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did, Fearing to strengthen that impatience Which seemed too much enkindled, and withal Hoping it was but an effect of humor, Which sometime hath his hour with every man. It will not let you cat nor talk nor sleep, And could it work so much upon your shape As it hath much prevailed on your condition, I should not know you Brutus.
Dear my lord, Make me acquainted with your cause of grief. Act II, Scene 1 65 Portia Brutus is wise and, were he not in health, He would embrace the means to come by it. Brutus Why so I do. Good Portia, go to bed. Portia Is Brutus sick, and is it physical To walk unbraced and suck up the humours Of the dank morning?
What, is Brutus sick, And will he steal out of his wholesome bed To dare the vile contagion of the night, And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air, To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus. You have some sick offence within your mind, Which by the right and virtue of my place I ought to know of; and upon my knees I charm you, by my once commended beauty, By all your vows of love; and that great vow Which did incorporate and make us one, That you unfold to me, your self, your half, Why you are heavy — and what men to-night Have had resort to you; for here have been Some six or seven, who did hide their faces Even from darkness.
Brutus Kneel not, gentle Portia. Portia I should not need if you were gentle Brutus. Night air was thought to be unhealthy.
There is also a reference here, although Portia does not know it, to the night, or darkness, of conspiracy. Am I your self But, as it were, in sort or limitation? To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed, And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs Of your good pleasure? Brutus You are my true and honourable wife, As dear to me as are the ruddy drops That visit my sad heart.
Portia If this were true, then should I know this secret. I grant I am a woman; but withal A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, Being so fathered and so husbanded? I have made strong proof of my constancy, Giving myself a voluntary wound Here, in the thigh. The meaning is, is it part of the marriage contract that I should not know your secrets? Am I only a limited part of you? London suburbs, notorious for prostitution.
One knocks. Portia, go in awhile, And by and by thy bosom shall partake The secrets of my heart. All my engagements I will construe thee, And all the charactery of my sad brows. Leave me with haste. Boy stand aside. Caius Ligarius, how? Caius Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue. Brutus O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius, To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick! Brutus Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius, Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
Cassius By all the gods that Romans bow before, I here discard my sickness. Now bid me run, And I will strive with things impossible; Yea, get the better of them. Caius But are not some whole that we must make sick? Brutus That must we also. What it is, my Caius, I shall unfold to thee as we are going, To whom it must be done. If that is the case, it would seem quite likely that the soulsearching Brutus became the prototype for the character of Hamlet.
Just as Hamlet endlessly questions and analyzes his actions, Brutus, in Act II, Scene 1, contemplates the ramifications of joining the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. There is such chaos in the cosmos that even time is out of joint: The people of Rome are happy and content with their leader and Brutus, like Cassius in the previous scene, will refuse to see that.
His confusion with time could also be a direct reference to a major political issue occurring in England and throughout Europe at the time Julius Caesar was written. They claimed his implementation of the calendar was proof of his tyrannical tendencies and that his manipulation of time was an interference with the true course of nature.
By the year , the Julian calendar had drifted ten days out of phase and Pope Gregory decreed the reform of the existing calendar.
The Catholic followers of the Pope adopted the new calen- dar whereas the Protestants rejected it. The issue of calendar reform became an intense political struggle in Europe. By , the year before Shakespeare is thought to have written Julius Caesar, there were five weeks separating the celebrations of the Catholic Easter and the Protestant Easter.
Many of the English Protestants, like the Romans before them, felt that being forced by Queen Elizabeth to maintain the Julian calendar was tyrannical and an interference with the true course of nature. In referring to the lean and hungry Cassius in the previous act, Caesar intimates that men who cannot sleep at night are dangerous and now the sleepless Brutus will indeed become a danger to Julius Caesar. In his nocturnal ruminations, Brutus has begun to convince himself that Caesar must die.
He sees himself as a noble man with a strong sense of morality and works hard to maintain that image with the public. In this soliloquy, however, the audience sees a man who can convince himself that murder is an appropriate answer based solely on conjecture.
Brutus merely speculates that Caesar may become too powerful and in anticipation of what that power may do, he makes his decision to support the actions of the conspiracy. History consistently demonstrates that power can corrupt, but if the populace decided to eliminate all politicians based on the possibility that they may become power-hungry, there would be no leaders left. By assuming to play god, he can prevent what he, in his own infinite wisdom, sees as harmful to Rome. In this light, is Brutus any different than Caesar?
Caesar, based on his reforms in Italy, is judged harshly for wanting Rome to conform to his worldview and here Brutus behaves just like the man he will kill. In doing so, he forces the world to conform to his personal vision of it. Brutus is so concerned with his sense of self that he X ActII. Instead, he views the note as a public affirmation of his recent decision to eliminate Caesar.
His pride at being an ancestor of the man who vanquished the Tarquin King spurs him to fill in the blanks of the forged note with his own version of what the people want. He himself will vanquish a King and take his place among the great heroes of Rome. Brutus is completely aware of the hideous quality of the conspiracy as he personifies it as a monster in lines 78— He may delude himself when searching his soul for the motives for killing Caesar, but he knows without a doubt that the act is an evil thing that should be hidden away.
According to Greek mythology, Erebus, the dark underground passage to Hell, was born of Chaos. Chaos was the primordial void that existed before order was created in the universe and from which all things, including the gods, proceeded.
Immediately following the reference, Cassius and the other conspirators emerge from the dark, chaotic night and take their places in the dark and chaotic history of Rome that will follow the death of Caesar. Cassius, always a man focused on his mission, greets Brutus with words of flattery and the two men move to one side, conversing in whispers while the other conspirators take center stage. In this portion of the scene, Shakespeare again depicts the inability of men to tell the time of day.
Not only does the writer draw attention to the incompetence of these men to judge the times they live in but he also shows them as an unorganized and contradictory group who cannot agree on where the sun rises, much less on issues of vast political importance. Act II, Scene 1 69 Brutus, as the newest official member of the conspiracy, begins his association with this group of bumbling and confused men with a few blunders of his own. Cassius suggests that the conspirators swear an oath, which Brutus quickly vetoes.
The next issue to be broached is the possible addition of Cicero to the list of conspirators. As revealed earlier, Cicero was an excellent and coercive speaker. He knew the law and, as seen in contrast to Casca in the storm scene, Cicero is calm and collected under pressure. He would be an invaluable addition to the conspiracy but again, Brutus says no. If Cicero took the lead in this enterprise, who would then be noted by history as the man who freed Rome from its tyrant king?
Cassius, in his effort to keep Brutus content and part of the conspiracy, concedes to him again. Cassius understands the workings of human nature and is a much better judge of character than Brutus.
He knows that Antony is not only a loyal friend to Caesar but also a fine soldier and would be in a solid position to mount an attack against the conspiracy. Just as Caesar attempted at the beginning of the play to make the Feast of the Lupercal, a religious ceremony, into a political one, Brutus now desires to make a political act into something religious. If Brutus can succeed at making an act of cold-blooded murder done to advance the personal ambitions of a small group of men into something that is perceived as sacred, he will have achieved two things.
Personally, he will be able to relieve his own conscience by rationalizing an immoral act as something moral. With the entrance of his wife, Portia, the reader has the opportunity to witness the private Brutus. He is a very different man within the confines of his own home. Brutus shows evidence of being a man who has the capacity to feel deeply about people and their situations but unfortunately chooses to deny those feelings in public in an effort to maintain his honorable and stoic image.
In the majority of editions of Julius Caesar, the striking clock is often identified as an anachronism. There were no mechanical clocks in the Rome of Julius Caesar, but, as opposed to being a mistake by the writer, the striking clock could serve as another reminder that the time or the times they are living in are out of sync.
The majority of Elizabethans watching the play would perhaps associate the number three with the number of times that Peter betrayed Jesus and also with the time, according to the Bible, that Jesus died upon the cross.
At the time the play takes place, they had been married for about two years. Portia herself is a strong woman, proud of her lineage, and not afraid to confront her husband or take a stand for equality in her marriage. She confronts Brutus, demanding to know why he is so troubled, and she does not allow him to cover his activities with evasive stories about ill health.
Decius assures the others that he will be able to convince Caesar to go to the Capitol no matter what mood he may be in and volunteers to escort him to the Capitol himself.
Cassius insists that everyone should meet Caesar and they all should accompany him to the Capitol. The plot is set, the hour agreed upon and Brutus bids farewell to the conspirators with an admonishment to conceal their purpose and, like actors, put on the mask of normalcy.
Portia reminds Brutus of her heritage and by association hopes to convince Brutus that she is stronger than the majority of wives. To prove her fearlessness, constancy, and equality, she shows Brutus the wound she has made on her thigh. According to Plutarch, Portia gashed herself with a razor. The gash became infected and she was quite ill, running a very high fever. The image of illness and the theme of disease runs continuously through Julius Caesar.
Before Cassius and the other conspirators enter the scene in Act II, Brutus comments on the disease that occurs between the conception of an idea and the action that completes it. Shakespeare often compares the illness and discord in mankind to the dissonance rampant in the universe.
The scene between Brutus and Portia incorporates illness both real and speculative, and the entrance of Caius Ligarius is blatant with the images of sickness in man and in the body politic.
Due to his illness, Ligarius, a senator who had originally supported Pompey but had, like the other conspirators, been pardoned by Caesar, comes late to the meeting. Caesar, the head of Rome, is suffering from overly ambitious desires for power.
His illness has infected the rest of the body, or the people of Rome. Brutus cannot sleep at night and his wife fears he is ill. Portia is running a high fever from the wound she has inflicted on herself.
There is no choice but to find a cure for the illness before it kills the entire body. For sales inquiries and resellers information, including discounts, premium and bulk quantity sales and foreign language translations please contact our Customer Care department at , fax or write to Hungry Minds, Inc. For information on licensing foreign or domestic rights, please contact our Sub-Rights Customer Care department at Please contact our Public Relations department at for press review copies or for author interviews and other publicity information or fax For authorization to photocopy items for corporate, personal, or educational use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center, Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA , or fax All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Hungry Minds, Inc. He can be found in our classrooms, on our televisions, in our theatres, and in our cinemas. Speaking to us through his plays, Shakespeare comments on his life and culture, as well as our own. Actors still regularly perform his plays on the modern stage and screen.
They believe that another historical figure, such as Francis Bacon or Queen Elizabeth I, used the name as a cover. Whether a man named William Shakespeare ever actually existed is ultimately secondary to the recognition that the group of plays bound together by that name does exist and continues to educate, enlighten, and entertain us. Beyond adaptations and productions, his life and works have captured our cultural imagination. Despite his monumental presence in our culture, Shakespeare remains enigmatic.
He does not tell us which plays he wrote alone, on which plays he collaborated with other playwrights, or which versions of his plays to read and perform. Furthermore, with only a handful of documents available about his life, he does not tell us much about Shakespeare the person, forcing critics and scholars to look to historical references to uncover the true-life great dramatist. An engraved portrait of Shakespeare by an unknown artist, ca.