Julius Caesar

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V


That you have wronged me doth appear in this;

You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella
note (v.) 4 brand with disgrace, stigmatize, publicly discredit

For taking bribes here of the Sardians;

Wherein my letters, praying on his side,

Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
slight off (v.) dismiss with contempt, put off disdainfully


You wronged yourself to write in such a case.


In such a time as this it is not meet
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

That every nice offence should bear his comment.
comment (n.) 2 criticism, objection, carping remark
nice (adj.) 5 trivial, unimportant, slight


Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself

Are much condemned to have an itching palm,
condemn (v.) 1 blame, criticize, censure
itching palm avaricious disposition, desire for personal gain

To sell and mart your offices for gold
mart (v.) 2 sell, market, traffic in
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

To undeservers.


                         I an itching palm!

You know that you are Brutus that speak this,

Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.


The name of Cassius honours this corruption,

And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.




Remember March, the ides of March remember.
ides (n.) [Roman calendar] half-way point in a month

Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?

What villain touched his body, that did stab,

And not for justice? What, shall one of us,

That struck the foremost man of all this world

But for supporting robbers, shall we now

Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

And sell the mighty space of our large honours
large (adj.) 6 high, great, extensive

For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
trash (n.) 2 dirty money

I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
bay (v.) 2 bark at, howl at

Than such a Roman.
bait (v.) 1 harass, persecute, torment


                         Brutus, bait not me;

I'll not endure it. You forget yourself,

To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,
hedge in (v.) restrict, confine, limit

Older in practise, abler than yourself

To make conditions.
condition (n.) 9 matter, affair, concern
make (v.) 11 draw up, arrange, agree to


                         Go to! You are not, Cassius.


I am.


I say you are not.


Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
urge (v.) 6 provoke, incite, impel

Have mind upon your health; tempt me no further.
health (n.) 5 well-being, safety
tempt (v.) 1 try, test, make trial of


Away, slight man!
slight (adj.) 1 worthless, insignificant, good-for-nothing


Is't possible?


                         Hear me, for I will speak.

Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
room (n.) 1 place, space
way (n.) 5 entrance, access, path

Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count
stare (v.) 1 glare, glower, look madly


O ye gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this?


All this? Ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;

Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
choleric (adj.) 2 irritable, angry, enraged
choleric (adj.) 1 inclined to anger, hot-tempered, irascible

And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
bondman (n.) bondsman, serf, slave
budge, bodge (v.) 2 give way, retreat

Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
crouch (v.) 1 bend low, bow down, cringe
observe (v.) 1 humour, gratify, indulge

Under your testy humour? By the gods,
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
testy (adj.) irritable, peevish, short-tempered

You shall disgest the venom of your spleen,
digest, disgest (v.) 1 digest, swallow
spleen (n.) 2 irritability, malice, bad temper

Though it do split you; for, from this day forth,
split (v.) break up, split in two

I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,

When you are waspish.


                         Is it come to this?


You say you are a better soldier:

Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
vaunting (n.) boasting, bragging

And it shall please me well. For mine own part,

I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
learn (v.) 2 be edified, receive instruction [from]


You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus.

I said an elder soldier, not a better;
elder (n.) 1 senior, superior

Did I say better?


                         If you did, I care not.


When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.
move (v.) 2 move to anger, provoke, exasperate


Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.
tempt (v.) 1 try, test, make trial of


I durst not!




What, durst not tempt him?


                         For your life you durst not.


Do not presume too much upon my love;

I may do that I shall be sorry for.


You have done that you should be sorry for.

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;

For I am armed so strong in honesty
honesty (n.) 2 honour, integrity, uprightness

That they pass by me as the idle wind,

Which I respect not. I did send to you
respect (v.) 1 pay attention to, heed

For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;

For I can raise no money by vile means;
vile, vild (adj.) 3 shameful, contemptible, wretched

By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,

And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring

From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
trash (n.) 2 dirty money

By any indirection. I did send
indirection (n.) 2 devious means, malpractice

To you for gold to pay my legions.

Which you denied me; was that done like Cassius?

Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?

When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,

To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
counter, compter (n.) 3 [contemptuous] coin, bit of change
rascal (adj.) worthless, good-for-nothing

Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,

Dash him to pieces!


                         I denied you not.


You did.


                         I did not. He was but a fool that brought

That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart;
rive (v.) 1 split, rend, cleave

A friend should bear his friend's infirmities;

But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.


I do not, till you practise them on me.
practise on / upon (v.) 2 work upon, act craftily with, make to operate


You love me not.


                         I do not like your faults.


A friendly eye could never see such faults.


A flatterer's would not, though they do appear

As huge as high Olympus.


Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,

Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,

For Cassius is aweary of the world;

Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke

Checked like a bondman; all his faults observed,
bondman (n.) bondsman, serf, slave
check (v.) 1 rebuke, scold, reprimand

Set in a notebook, learned, and conned by rote,
con (v.) 1 learn by heart, commit to memory

To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep

My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,

And here my naked breast; within, a heart

Dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold:
dear (adj.) 3 of great worth, valuable, precious

If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth.

I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart:

Strike, as thou didst at Caesar; for I know,

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better

Than ever thou lovedst Cassius.


                         Sheathe your dagger.

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
scope (n.) 3 opportunity, liberty, free course of action

Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
dishonour (n.) indignity, insulting treatment
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb

That carries anger as the flint bears fire,

Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
enforce (v.) 3 act upon by force

And straight is cold again.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


                         Hath Cassius lived

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,

When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?
blood (n.) 5 disposition, temper, mood
ill-tempered (adj.) unbalanced, with elements of mood [humours] badly mixed
vex (v.) afflict, trouble, torment


When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.


Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.


And my heart too.


                         O Brutus!


                                                         What's the matter?


Have not you love enough to bear with me,

When that rash humour which my mother gave me
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
rash (adj.) 1 sudden, quickly acting, operating immediately

Makes me forgetful?


                         Yes, Cassius; and from henceforth,

When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,

He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Enter a Poet followed by Lucius; Titinius and Lucilius

attempting to restrain him


Let me go in to see the Generals.

There is some grudge between 'em; 'tis not meet
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

They be alone.


                         You shall not come to them.


Nothing but death shall stay me.
stay (v.) 10 dissuade, stop, prevent


How now? What's the matter?


For shame, you Generals! What do you mean?

Love, and be friends, as two such men should be;

For I have seen more years, I'm sure, than ye.


Ha, ha! How vilely doth this cynic rhyme!
cynic (n.) critic, fault-finder
vilely, vildly (adv.) shamefully, wretchedly, meanly


Get you hence, sirrah! Saucy fellow, hence!
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant


Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion.
fashion (n.) 1 manner, way, mode, appearance


I'll know his humour, when he knows his time.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

What should the wars do with these jigging fools?
jigging (adj.) moving in the manner of a jig

Companion, hence!
companion (n.) 1 rogue, rascal, fellow


                         Away, away, be gone!

Exit Poet


Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders

Prepare to lodge their companies tonight.


And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you

Immediately to us.

Exeunt Lucilius and Titinius


                         Lucius, a bowl of wine.

Exit Lucius


I did not think you could have been so angry.


O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.


Of your philosophy you make no use,

If you give place to accidental evils.
place (n.) 6 way, room


No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.


Ha? Portia!


She is dead.


How 'scaped I killing, when I crossed you so?
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count

O insupportable and touching loss!
touching (adj.) affecting, moving, grievous

Upon what sickness?
upon (prep.) 2 as a result of


                         Impatient of my absence,

And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony

Have made themselves so strong; for with her death

That tidings came. With this she fell distract,
distract (adj.) 1 deranged, mad, mentally disturbed

And, her attendants absent, swallowed fire.


And died so?


                         Even so.


                                                         O ye immortal gods!

Enter Boy (Lucius) with wine and tapers


Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.

In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.
bury (v.) 1 abandon forever, consign to oblivion, eliminate
unkindness (n.) 1 offence, ill-will, umbrage

He drinks


My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge.

Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup;
over-swell (v.) flood, inundate, overflow

I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love.

Exit Lucius

Cassius drinks

Enter Titinius and Messala


Come in, Titinius. Welcome, good Messala.

Now sit we close about this taper here,
taper (n.) candle

And call in question our necessities.
question, call in discuss, deliberate upon


Portia, art thou gone?


                         No more, I pray you.

Messala, I have here received letters,

That young Octavius and Mark Antony

Come down upon us with a mighty power,
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Bending their expedition toward Philippi.
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn
expedition (n.) 3 warlike enterprise, setting out for war


Myself have letters of the self-same tenor.
tenor, tenour (n.) 1 substance, content, matter, drift


With what addition?


That by proscription and bills of outlawry
bill (n.) 2 notice, label, proclamation, placard
proscription (n.) condemnation

Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus

Have put to death an hundred senators.


Therein our letters do not well agree.

Mine speak of seventy senators that died

By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.


Cicero one?


                         Cicero is dead,

And by that order of proscription.

Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?


No, Messala.


Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?


Nothing, Messala.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


                         That, methinks, is strange.


Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count


No, my lord.


Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.


Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell;

For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.


Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala.

With meditating that she must die once,
once (adv.) 3 one day, some time

I have the patience to endure it now.


Even so great men great losses should endure.


I have as much of this in art as you,
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

But yet my nature could not bear it so.
nature (n.) 5 personality, innate disposition, character


Well, to our work alive. What do you think
alive (adv.) with the living, of present concern

Of marching to Philippi presently?
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long


I do not think it good.


                         Your reason?


                                                         This it is:

'Tis better that the enemy seek us;

So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,

Doing himself offence, whilst we, lying still,
offence (n.) 1 damage, injury, harm

Are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness.
defence (n.) 1 fencing, swordsmanship, skill of self-defence
still (adj.) 4 at rest, in repose


Good reasons must of force give place to better.
force, of necessarily, of necessity, whether one will or not
place (n.) 6 way, room

The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground

Do stand but in a forced affection;
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
forced (adj.) 1 enforced, imposed, constrained

For they have grudged us contribution.
contribution (n.) military levy, aid, supplies

The enemy, marching along by them,

By them shall make a fuller number up,

Come on refreshed, new-added, and encouraged;
new-added (adj.) reinforced, supplemented, augmented

From which advantage shall we cut him off,

If at Philippi we do face him there,

These people at our back.


                         Hear me, good brother –


Under your pardon. You must note beside

That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
try (v.) 2 put to the test, test the goodness [of]
utmost (n.) maximum, largest number

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe.
ripe (adj.) 1 matured, ready for action

The enemy increaseth every day;

We, at the height, are ready to decline.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
flood (n.) 4 time of flowing in, influx

Omitted, all the voyage of their life
omit (v.) neglect, disregard, forget about

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
bound (v.) 2 contain, enclose, confine

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,
serve (v.) 3 provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour

Or lose our ventures.
venture (n.) 3 cargo, consignment, goods


                         Then, with your will, go on;

We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.


The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
deep (n.) depths, middle

And nature must obey necessity,

Which we will niggard with a little rest.
niggard (v.) 2 put off, fob off, stint

There is no more to say?


                         No more. Good night.

Early tomorrow will we rise, and hence.



Enter Lucius
gown (n.) 2 dressing-gown, nightgown

                         My gown.

Exit Lucius

                                                         Farewell, good Messala.

Good night, Titinius. Noble, noble Cassius,

Good night, and good repose.


                         O my dear brother,

This was an ill beginning of the night;
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

Never come such division 'tween our souls!

Let it not, Brutus.

Enter Lucius, with the gown


                         Everything is well.


Good night, my lord.


                         Good night, good brother.


Good night, Lord Brutus.


                         Farewell, every one.

Exeunt Cassius, Titinius, and Messala

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?


Here in the tent.


                         What, thou speak'st drowsily?

Poor knave, I blame thee not; thou art o'erwatched.
knave (n.) 3 boy, lad, fellow
overwatched (adj.) wearied from too much watching, exhausted from lack of sleep

Call Claudius and some other of my men;

I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.


Varro and Claudius!

Enter Varro and Claudius


Calls my lord?


I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep;

It may be I shall raise you by and by
by and by (adv.) 2 shortly, soon, before long
raise (v.) 3 rouse, wake up

On business to my brother Cassius.


So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure.
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will
watch (v.) 3 be on the watch for, look out for


I will not have it so; lie down, good sirs.

It may be I shall otherwise bethink me.
bethink (v.), past form bethought 3 resolve, decide, have a mind

Varro and Claudius lie down

Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so;

I put it in the pocket of my gown.


I was sure your lordship did not give it me.


Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,
heavy (adj.) 4 weary, exhausted, worn out

And touch thy instrument a strain or two?
touch (v.) 10 finger, sound, play on


Ay, my lord, an't please you.


                         It does, my boy.

I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.


It is my duty, sir.


I should not urge thy duty past thy might;

I know young bloods look for a time of rest.
blood (n.) 3 man of fire, hot-blooded fellow, spirited youth


I have slept, my lord, already.


It was well done, and thou shalt sleep again;

I will not hold thee long. If I do live,

I will be good to thee.

Music, and a song

Lucius falls asleep

This is a sleepy tune; O murderous slumber,

Layest thou thy leaden mace upon my boy,
leaden (adj.) 1 burdensome, heavy, cumbersome

That plays thee music? Gentle knave, good night;
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
knave (n.) 3 boy, lad, fellow

I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.

If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument;

I'll take it from thee; and, good boy, good night.

Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turned down

Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.

He sits and reads

Enter the Ghost of Caesar

How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here?
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count
taper (n.) candle

I think it is the weakness of mine eyes

That shapes this monstrous apparition.
shape (v.) 1 create, fashion, bring about

It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
upon (prep.) 6 towards

Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,

That mak'st my blood cold, and my hair to stare?
stare (v.) 2 stand on end

Speak to me what thou art.


Thy evil spirit, Brutus.


                         Why com'st thou?


To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.


Well; then I shall see thee again?


Ay, at Philippi.


Why, I will see thee at Philippi then.

Exit Ghost

Now I have taken heart, thou vanishest.

Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral

Boy! Lucius! Varro! Claudius! Sirs, awake!



The strings, my lord, are false.
false (adj.) 8 [of an instrument or voice] out of tune, discordant


He thinks he still is at his instrument.

Lucius, awake!


My lord?


Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out?


My lord, I do not know that I did cry.


Yes, that thou didst. Didst thou see anything?


Nothing, my lord.


Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah Claudius!

Fellow thou, awake!


                         My lord?


                                                         My lord?


Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?


Did we, my lord?


                         Ay; saw you anything?


No, my lord, I saw nothing.


                         Nor I, my lord.


Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius.
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

Bid him set on his powers betimes before,
before (adv.) 1 ahead, in advance
betimes (adv.) 1 early in the morning, at an early hour
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count
set on (v.) 2 go forward, advance, proceed

And we will follow.


It shall be done, my lord.


  Previous scene     Next scene