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Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.Although the title is Julius Caesar, Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama of the play focuses on Brutus' struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.The play opens with the commoners of Rome celebrating Caesar's triumphant return from defeating Pompey's sons at the battle of Munda. Two tribunes, Flavius and Marrullus, discover the commoners celebrating, insult them for their change in loyalty from Pompey to Caesar, and break up the crowd. There are some jokes made by the commoners, who insult them back. They also plan on removing all decorations from Caesar's statues and ending any other festivities. In the next scene, during Caesar's parade on the feast of Lupercal, a soothsayer warns Caesar to "Beware the ides of March", a warning he disregards. The action then turns to the discussion between Brutus and Cassius. In this conversation, Cassius attempts to influence Brutus' opinions into believing Caesar should be killed, preparing to have Brutus join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. They then hear from Casca that Mark Antony has offered Caesar the crown of Rome three times and that each time Caesar refused it, fainting after the last refusal. Later, in act two, Brutus joins the conspiracy, although after much moral debate, eventually deciding that Caesar, although his friend and never having done anything against the people of Rome, should be killed to prevent him from doing anything against the people of Rome if he were ever to be crowned. He compares Caesar to "A serpents egg/ which hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,/ and kill him in the shell.", and decides to join Cassius in killing Caesar.
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Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir after his death.
M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS
CICERO, PUBLIUS, POPILIUS LENA, Senators.
MARCUS BRUTUS, Conspirator against Caesar.
ARTEMIDORUS, a Sophist of Cnidos.
CINNA, a poet. Another Poet.
LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS, Friends to Brutus and Cassius.
VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS, Servants to BrutusPINDARUS, Servant to CassiusThe Ghost of CaesarSenators, Citizens, Soldiers, Commoners, Messengers, andServants
CALPURNIA, wife to CaesarPORTIA, wife to Brutus
SCENE: Rome, the conspirators' camp near Sardis, and the plains of Philippi.
ROME. A STREET
[Enter Flavius, Marullus, and a Throng of Citizens.]
FLAVIUS.Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home!Is this a holiday? What! know you not,Being mechanical, you ought not walkUpon a laboring day without the signOf your profession?--Speak, what trade art thou?
FIRST CITIZEN.Why, sir, a carpenter.
MARULLUS.Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?What dost thou with thy best apparel on?--You, sir; what trade are you?
SECOND CITIZEN.Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as youwould say, a cobbler.
MARULLUS.But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
SECOND CITIZEN.A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safeconscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
MARULLUS.What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?
SECOND CITIZEN.Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet,if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
MARULLUS.What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
SECOND CITIZEN.Why, sir, cobble you.
FLAVIUS.Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
SECOND CITIZEN.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 ingreat danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's-leather have gone upon my handiwork.
FLAVIUS.But wherefore art not in thy shop today?Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
SECOND CITIZEN.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.
MARULLUS.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 oftHave you climb'd up to walls and battlements,To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops,Your infants in your arms, and there have satThe livelong day with patient expectationTo see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.And when you saw his chariot but appear,Have you not made an universal shoutThat Tiber trembled underneath her banksTo hear the replication of your soundsMade 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 wayThat comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?Be gone!Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,Pray to the gods to intermit the plagueThat 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 tearsInto the channel, till the lowest streamDo kiss the most exalted shores of all.
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.
MARULLUS.May we do so?You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
FLAVIUS.It is no matter; let no imagesBe hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll aboutAnd drive away the vulgar from the streets;So do you too, where you perceive them thick.These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wingWill make him fly an ordinary pitch,Who else would soar above the view of men,And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
THE SAME. A PUBLIC PLACE
[Enter, in procession, with music, Caesar; Antony, for thecourse; Calpurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.]
CASCA.Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
CALPURNIA.Here, my lord.
CAESAR.Stand you directly in Antonius' way,When he doth run his course.--Antonius,--
ANTONY.Caesar, my lord?
CAESAR.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.
ANTONY.I shall remember.When Caesar says "Do this," it is perform'd.
CAESAR.Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
CAESAR.Ha! Who calls?
CASCA.Bid every noise be still.--Peace yet again!
CAESAR.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.
SOOTHSAYER.Beware the Ides of March.
CAESAR.What man is that?
BRUTUS.A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.
CAESAR.Set him before me; let me see his face.
CASSIUS.Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
CAESAR.What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
SOOTHSAYER.Beware the Ides of March.
CAESAR.He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all but BRUTUS and CASSIUS.]
CASSIUS.Will you go see the order of the course?
CASSIUS.I pray you, do.
BRUTUS.I am not gamesome; I do lack some partOf that quick spirit that is in Antony.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 gentlenessAnd show of love as I was wont to have:You bear too stubborn and too strange a handOver your friend that loves you.
BRUTUS.Cassius,Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,I turn the trouble of my countenanceMerely upon myself. Vexed I amOf 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.Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;By means whereof this breast of mine hath buriedThoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
BRUTUS.No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itselfBut by reflection, by some other thing.
CASSIUS.'Tis just:And it is very much lamented, Brutus,That you have no such mirrors as will turnYour hidden worthiness into your eye,That you might see your shadow. I have heardWhere 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.
BRUTUS.Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,That you would have me seek into myselfFor that which is not in me?
CASSIUS.Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;And since you know you cannot see yourselfSo well as by reflection, I, your glass,Will modestly discover to yourselfThat of yourself which you yet know not of.And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus;Were I a common laugher, or did useTo stale with ordinary oaths my loveTo every new protester; if you knowThat I do fawn on men, and hug them hardAnd after scandal them; or if you knowThat I profess myself, in banqueting,To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and shout.]
BRUTUS.What means this shouting? I do fear the peopleChoose 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,Set honor in one eye and death i' the otherAnd I will look on both indifferently;For let the gods so speed me as I loveThe name of honor more than I fear death.
CASSIUS.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 menThink of this life; but, for my single self,I had as lief not be as live to beIn 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 bothEndure 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, nowLeap in with me into this angry floodAnd 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 itWith lusty sinews, throwing it asideAnd 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 shoulderThe old Anchises bear, so from the waves of TiberDid I the tired Caesar: and this manIs now become a god; and Cassius isA 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 markHow 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 worldDid lose his luster. I did hear him groan:Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the RomansMark 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 shouldSo get the start of the majestic world,And bear the palm alone.
BRUTUS.Another general shout!I do believe that these applauses areFor some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar.
CASSIUS.Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow worldLike a Colossus; and we petty menWalk under his huge legs and peep aboutTo 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,
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