Julius Caesar


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Thunder and lightning

Enter Julius Caesar in his night-gown


CAESAR

Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight;

Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,

‘ Help, ho! They murder Caesar!’ Who's within?

Enter a Servant


SERVANT

My lord?


CAESAR

Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,

And bring me their opinions of success.
opinion (n.) 4 judgement, conviction, belief
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue


SERVANT

I will, my lord.

Exit

Enter Calphurnia


CALPHURNIA

What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?

You shall not stir out of your house today.


CAESAR

Caesar shall forth. The things that threatened me

Ne'er looked but on my back; when they shall see

The face of Caesar, they are vanished.


CALPHURNIA

Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
ceremony (n.) 4 omen, portent, prognostication
stand on (v.) 1 insist on, demand, call for

Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count

Besides the things that we have heard and seen,

Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
watch (n.) 1 watchmen, officers, street patrol

A lioness hath whelped in the streets,

And graves have yawned and yielded up their dead;
yawn (v.) open wide, gape

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds

In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
form (n.) 4 orderly manner, good arrangement
right (adj.) 1 typical, true, classic
squadron (n.) army detachment, body of soldiers

Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;

The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
hurtle (v.) sound violently, resound harshly

Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,

And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.

O Caesar, these things are beyond all use,
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom

And I do fear them.


CAESAR

                         What can be avoided

Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
end (n.) 2 outcome, result, issue
purpose (v.) 3 decide, resolve, determine

Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions

Are to the world in general as to Caesar.


CALPHURNIA

When beggars die, there are no comets seen;

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.


CAESAR

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

Enter a Servant
augurer (n.) Roman religious official who intepreted and foretold events See Topics: Roman history

                         What say the augurers?


SERVANT

They would not have you to stir forth today.

Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,

They could not find a heart within the beast.


CAESAR

The gods do this in shame of cowardice:

Caesar should be a beast without a heart

If he should stay at home today for fear.

No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well

That Caesar is more dangerous than he.

We are two lions littered in one day,

And I the elder and more terrible;

And Caesar shall go forth.


CALPHURNIA

                         Alas, my lord,

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
confidence (n.) 2 over-confidence, over-assurance, presumption

Do not go forth today: call it my fear

That keeps you in the house, and not your own.

We'll send Mark Antony to the Senate House,

And he shall say you are not well today.

Let me upon my knee prevail in this.


CAESAR

Mark Antony shall say I am not well,

And for thy humour I will stay at home.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

Enter Decius

Here's Decius Brutus; he shall tell them so.


DECIUS

Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar;
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

I come to fetch you to the Senate House.
fetch (v.) 1 escort, accompany, conduct


CAESAR

And you are come in very happy time
happy (adj.) 2 opportune, appropriate, propitious, favourable

To bear my greeting to the senators,

And tell them that I will not come today:

Cannot, is false; and that I dare not, falser;
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

I will not come today. Tell them so, Decius.


CALPHURNIA

Say he is sick.


CAESAR

                         Shall Caesar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far,

To be afeard to tell graybeards the truth?
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count

Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.


DECIUS

Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so.


CAESAR

The cause is in my will: I will not come;

That is enough to satisfy the Senate.

But for your private satisfaction,

Because I love you, I will let you know;

Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home.
stay (v.) 7 detain, confine, keep

She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,
tonight (adv.) last night, this past night

Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,

Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it.

And these does she apply for warnings and portents
apply (v.) 4 interpret, expound

And evils imminent; and on her knee
evil (n.) 1 affliction, misfortune, hardship

Hath begged that I will stay at home today.


DECIUS

This dream is all amiss interpreted;

It was a vision fair and fortunate:

Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,

In which so many smiling Romans bathed,

Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck

Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
press (v.) 2 push forward, thrust, come / go boldly

For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
cognizance (n.) badge, sign, token
relic (n.) memory, trace, recollection
stain (n.) 3 object stained with blood [as of a martyr]
tincture (n.) 3 token infused with blood [as of a martyr]

This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.


CAESAR

And this way have you well expounded it.


DECIUS

I have, when you have heard what I can say:

And know it now. The Senate have concluded
conclude (v.) 1 decide, resolve, settle

To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.

If you shall send them word you will not come,

Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
mock (n.) 1 act of mockery, mocking remark, derisive action, scornful irony

Apt to be rendered, for some one to say,
apt (adj.) 4 likely, inclined, prone

‘ Break up the Senate till another time,

When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.’

If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper,

‘ Lo, Caesar is afraid ’?

Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear dear love

To our proceeding bids me tell you this,
proceeding (n.) 2 career, advancement, onward course

And reason to my love is liable.
liable (adj.) 1 subject, legally bound
reason (n.) 1 power of reason, judgement, common-sense [often opposed to ‘passion’]


CAESAR

How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia!

I am ashamed I did yield to them.

Give me my robe, for I will go.

Enter Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius,

Cinna, and Publius

And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
fetch (v.) 1 escort, accompany, conduct


PUBLIUS

Good morrow, Caesar.


CAESAR

                         Welcome, Publius.

What, Brutus, are you stirred so early too?

Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,

Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy

As that same ague which hath made you lean.
ague (n.) fever, sickness, shaking [as caused by a fever]

What is't o'clock?


BRUTUS

                         Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.


CAESAR

I thank you for your pains and courtesy.

Enter Antony

See! Antony, that revels long a-nights,

Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.


ANTONY

So to most noble Caesar.


CAESAR

                         Bid them prepare within.

I am to blame to be thus waited for.

Now, Cinna; now, Metellus; what, Trebonius;

I have an hour's talk in store for you;

Remember that you call on me today;

Be near me, that I may remember you.


TREBONIUS

Caesar, I will.(aside) And so near will I be

That your best friends shall wish I had been further.


CAESAR

Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;

And we, like friends, will straightway go together.


BRUTUS

(aside)

That every like is not the same, O Caesar,

The heart of Brutus earns to think upon.
earn (v.) 1 yearn, mourn, grieve

Exeunt

 
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