Julius Caesar


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Caesar; Antony, stripped for the course; Calphurnia,
course (n.) 8 Roman festive chase [held to mark Lupercalia] See Topics: Days and dates

Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius

Casca, a Soothsayer, and a great crowd; after them

Marullus and Flavius


CAESAR

Calphurnia.


CASCA

                         Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.


CAESAR

                                                         Calphurnia.


CALPHURNIA

Here, my lord.


CAESAR

Stand you directly in Antonius' way

When he doth run his course. Antonius.
course (n.) 8 Roman festive chase [held to mark Lupercalia] See Topics: Days and dates


ANTONY

Caesar, my lord?


CAESAR

Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,

To touch Calphurnia; for our elders say,

The barren, touched in this holy chase,
chase (n.) 1 pursuit, sequence, hunt

Shake off their sterile curse.


ANTONY

                         I shall remember:

When Caesar says, ‘ Do this,’ it is performed.


CAESAR

Set on, and leave no ceremony out.
set on (v.) 2 go forward, advance, proceed


SOOTHSAYER

Caesar!


CAESAR

Ha! Who calls?


CASCA

Bid every noise be still; peace yet again!
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet


CAESAR

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
press (n.) 1 crowd, throng

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music

Cry ‘ Caesar!’ Speak. Caesar is turned to hear.


SOOTHSAYER

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


CAESAR

                         What man is that?


BRUTUS

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
soothsayer (n.) foreteller of events, prophet


CAESAR

Set him before me; let me see his face.


CASSIUS

Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.


CAESAR

What sayst thou to me now? Speak once again.


SOOTHSAYER

Beware the ides of March.


CAESAR

He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass.
pass (v.) 4 advance, move on, proceed

Sennet. Exeunt

Brutus and Cassius remain


CASSIUS

Will you go see the order of the course?
course (n.) 8 Roman festive chase [held to mark Lupercalia] See Topics: Days and dates
order (n.) 1 arrangement, disposition, direction


BRUTUS

Not I.


CASSIUS

I pray you, do.


BRUTUS

I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
gamesome (adj.) sportive, merry, playful

Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
quick (adj.) 2 lively, animated, vivacious

Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;

I'll leave you.


CASSIUS

Brutus, I do observe you now of late:

I have not from your eyes that gentleness
gentleness (n.) 1 nobility, good breeding, courtesy

And show of love as I was wont to have.
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
strange (adj.) 7 aloof, distant, reserved

Over your friend that loves you.


BRUTUS

                         Cassius,

Be not deceived: if I have veiled my look,
veil (v.) conceal, hide, disguise

I turn the trouble of my countenance

Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
merely (adv.) 1 completely, totally, entirely See Topics: Frequency count

Of late with passions of some difference,
difference (n.) 1 quarrel, disagreement, dispute
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]

Conceptions only proper to myself,
conception (n.) 2 imagining, supposition, fanciful idea
proper (adj.) 5 special, particular, specific

Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours;
soil (n.) 1 blemish, stain, tarnish

But let not therefore my good friends be grieved –

Among which number, Cassius, be you one –

Nor construe any further my neglect,
construe (v.) 1 interpret, take, understand

Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,

Forgets the shows of love to other men.


CASSIUS

Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,
passion (n.) 2 emotional state, mental condition

By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried

Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
worthy (adj.) 1 of worth, of value, deserving

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?


BRUTUS

No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself

But by reflection, by some other things.


CASSIUS

'Tis just;
just (adv.) 2 quite so, correct

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,

That you have no such mirrors as will turn
turn (v.) 7 direct, point, refer

Your hidden worthiness into your eye,

That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
shadow (n.) 2 reflection, reflected image

Where many of the best respect in Rome,
respect (n.) 3 regard, admiration, favour, opinion

Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus,

And groaning underneath this age's yoke,

Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.


BRUTUS

Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,

That you would have me seek into myself

For that which is not in me?


CASSIUS

Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;

And since you know you cannot see yourself

So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass See Topics: Frequency count

Will modestly discover to yourself
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count
modestly (adv.) without exaggeration, in due measure

That of yourself which you yet know not of.

And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count
jealous (adj.) 1 suspicious, mistrustful, wary, watchful

Were I a common laughter, or did use
laughter (n.) laughing-stock, object of scorn

To stale with ordinary oaths my love
stale (v.) 1 make stale, wear out

To every new protester; if you know
protester (n.) declarer of friendship, affirmer of affection

That I do fawn on men and hug them hard,

And after scandal them; or if you know
scandal (v.) 1 revile, scorn, denigrate

That I profess myself in banqueting
profess (v.) 5 profess friendship, declare attachment

To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
rout (n.) 2 rabble, mob, disorderly crowd

Flourish and shout


BRUTUS

What means this shouting? I do fear the people

Choose Caesar for their king.


CASSIUS

                         Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think you would not have it so.


BRUTUS

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,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Set honour in one eye, and death i'th' other,

And I will look on both indifferently;
indifferently (adv.) 1 impartially, equally, alike

For let the gods so speed me as I love
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness

The name of honour more than I fear death.


CASSIUS

I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,

As well as I do know your outward favour.
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks
outward (adj.) 1 external, surface, superficial

Well, honour 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
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count

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,
chafe (v.) 1 fret, rage, seethe
shore (n.) 2 bank, edge

Caesar said to me, ‘ Dar'st thou, Cassius, now

Leap in with me into this angry flood,
flood (n.) 2 river, stream, rushing water

And swim to yonder point?’ Upon the word,

Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
accouter, accoutre (v.) attire, equip, array

And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell

The torrent roared, and we did buffet it
buffet (v.) 3 beat back, contend with

With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
sinew (n.) 3 strength, force, power

And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
controversy (n.) struggle, contending, competitive dispute
stem (v.) cut through, make headway against

But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
arrive (v.) reach, arrive at

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
bend (v.) 5 give way, bow, submit

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
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

How he did shake; 'tis true, this god did shake;

His coward lips did from their colour fly,

And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
bend (n.) 2 glance, gaze, turning in a particular direction

Did lose his lustre; I did hear him groan;

Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans

Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
book (n.) 4 writing tablet
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

‘ Alas!’ it cried, ‘ Give me some drink, Titinius,’

As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
amaze (v.) 3 appal, overwhelm, terrify

A man of such a feeble temper should
temper (n.) 1 frame of mind, temperament, disposition

So get the start of the majestic world,
start (n.) 3 advantage, edge, upper hand

And bear the palm alone.

Shout. Flourish
palm (n.) 1 palm leaf as a symbol of victory


BRUTUS

                         Another general shout!

I do believe that these applauses are
applause (n.) acclamation, shout of approval

For some new honours that are heaped on Caesar.


CASSIUS

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
bestride (v.) 4 straddle, stand over with legs astride

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
peep about (v.) emerge into view, look around

To find ourselves dishonourable 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?
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

Write them together, yours is as fair a name;

Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
sound (v.) 5 pronounce, articulate, enunciate

Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
conjure (v.) 4 engage in magic, cast spells, invoke supernatural aid

‘ Brutus ’ will start a spirit as soon as ‘ Caesar.’
start (v.) 7 raise up, call up

Now in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment

That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
blood (n.) 5 disposition, temper, mood
breed (n.) 1 lineage, inheritance, stock

When went there by an age, since the great flood,

But it was famed with more than with one man?
famed (adj.) reputed, celebrated, renowned

When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,

That her wide walls encompassed 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 brooked
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with

Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
keep (v.) 4 keep up, maintain, carry on
state (n.) 10 government, ruling body, administration

As easily as a king.


BRUTUS

That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
jealous (adj.) 2 doubtful, uncertain, apprehensive

What you would work me to, I have some aim:
aim (n.) 1 guess, conjecture, surmise

How I have thought of this, and of these times,

I shall recount hereafter. For this present,
present (n.) 1 present time, immediate moment, matter in hand

I would not – so with love I might entreat you –

Be any further moved. What you have said
move (v.) 4 appeal to, urge, exhort

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.
high (adj.) 2 important, major, special
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
chew upon (v.) consider, ponder, reflect upon

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.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count


CASSIUS

                         I am glad

That my weak words have struck but thus much show

Of fire from Brutus.

Enter Caesar and his train


BRUTUS

The games are done and Caesar is returning.


CASSIUS

As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,

And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you

What hath proceeded worthy note today.
note (n.) 1 attention, notice, regard


BRUTUS

I will do so. But look you, Cassius,

The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

And all the rest look like a chidden train:
chidden (adj.) 1 scolded, reproved, rebuked
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage

Calphurnia's cheek is pale, and Cicero

Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
ferret (adj.) ferret-like, red, blazing

As we have seen him in the Capitol

Being crossed in conference by some senators.
conference (n.) 2 debate, argument, discussion
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against


CASSIUS

Casca will tell us what the matter is.


CAESAR

Antonius!


ANTONY

Caesar?


CAESAR

Let me have men about me that are fat,

Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights.

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;

He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.


ANTONY

Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;

He is a noble Roman, and well given.
given (adj.) disposed, inclined, minded


CAESAR

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,
spare (adj.) 2 lean, thin, gaunt

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
sort (n.) 3 way, manner

As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit

That could be moved to smile at anything.

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 feared

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.

Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and his train


CASCA

You pulled me by the cloak; would you speak with me?


BRUTUS

Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today

That Caesar looks so sad.
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count


CASCA

Why, you were with him, were you not?


BRUTUS

I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.


CASCA

Why, there was a crown offered him; and, being

offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus;
put by (v.) 1 thrust aside, reject, set aside

and then the people fell a-shouting.


BRUTUS

What was the second noise for?


CASCA

Why, for that too.


CASSIUS

They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?


CASCA

Why, for that too.


BRUTUS

Was the crown offered him thrice?


CASCA

Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every
put by (v.) 1 thrust aside, reject, set aside

time gentler than other; and at every putting-by mine
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
putting-by (n.) refusal, rejection, thrusting aside

honest neighbours shouted.


CASSIUS

Who offered him the crown?


CASCA

Why, Antony.


BRUTUS

Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


CASCA

I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it; it

was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

offer him a crown; yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas

one of these coronets; and, as I told you, he put it by
coronet (n.) 1 small crown [inferior to one worn by the sovereign]
put by (v.) 1 thrust aside, reject, set aside

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
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

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
put by (v.) 1 thrust aside, reject, set aside

rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands,
chopped, chopt (adj.) 1 chapped, chafed, roughened

and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such
utter (v.) 1 emit, exhale, discharge

a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the
deal (n.) amount, quantity

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.


CASSIUS

But, soft, I pray you; what, did Caesar swoon?


CASCA

He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at

mouth, and was speechless.


BRUTUS

'Tis very like; he hath the falling sickness.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count


CASSIUS

No, Caesar hath it not; but you, and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.


CASCA

I know not what you mean by that, but, I am sure

Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him
tag-rag (adj.) raggedly dressed; riff-raff, rabble

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.


BRUTUS

What said he when he came unto himself?


CASCA

Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the

common herd was glad he refused the crown, he

plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat
ope (v.) open See Topics: Frequency count

to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, If I
occupation (n.) 1 handicraft, trade, employment

would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go
word, at a 2 without more ado, at once, forthwith

to hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When he came

to himself again, he said, if he had done or said anything

amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his

infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried,
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

‘Alas, good soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts;

but there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had

stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.


BRUTUS

And after that, he came thus sad, away?
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count


CASCA

Ay.


CASSIUS

Did Cicero say anything?


CASCA

Ay, he spoke Greek.


CASSIUS

To what effect?


CASCA

Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i'th' 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
image (n.) 2 effigy, statue, sculpture

foolery yet, if I could remember it.


CASSIUS

Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count


CASCA

No, I am promised forth.
promise forth have an engagement elsewhere


CASSIUS

Will you dine with me tomorrow?
dine (v.) have lunch


CASCA

Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold, and your
hold (v.) 3 stand firm, continue, carry on
mind (n.) 1 inclination, desire, wish

dinner worth the eating.


CASSIUS

Good; I will expect you.


CASCA

Do so. Farewell, both.

Exit


BRUTUS

What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle when he went to school.
mettle, mettell (n.) 1 spirit, temperament, disposition
quick (adj.) 2 lively, animated, vivacious


CASSIUS

So is he now in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprise,

However he puts on this tardy form.
form (n.) 5 way of behaving, behaviour, code of conduct
tardy (adj.) dull, slow-witted, reluctant

This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
rudeness (n.) 1 rough manner, uncouth behaviour
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

Which gives men stomach to disgest his words
digest, disgest (v.) 1 digest, swallow
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

With better appetite.


BRUTUS

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.


CASSIUS

I will do so: till then, think of the world.
world (n.) 2 times, life, state of affairs

Exit BRUTUS

Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet I see

Thy honourable mettle may be wrought
mettle, mettell (n.) 1 spirit, temperament, disposition
work (v.), past form wrought 10 work on, manipulate

From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet

That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
like (n.) identity, equivalent, counterpart
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.
bear hard bear ill will towards, feel resentment against

If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,

He should not humour me. I will this night,
humour (v.) like the mood of, find enjoyable, indulge

In several hands, in at his windows throw,
hand (n.) 5 handwriting

As if they came from several citizens,
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

Writings, all tending to the great opinion
opinion (n.) 2 reputation, character, honour
tend (v.) 5 relate, refer, be relevant

That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely

Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at.
glance at (v.) 1 allude to, refer to, mention in passing

And after this, let Caesar seat him sure,
sure (adv.) 1 securely, safely, well

For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

Exit

 
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