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Julius Caesar
Act 1, scene 1

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Caesar’s assassination is just the halfway point of Julius Caesar. The first part of the play leads to his death; the…

Act 1, scene 1

In Rome the people are taking a holiday to celebrate the triumphant return of Julius Caesar. The tribunes Marullus and…

Act 1, scene 2

A soothsayer advises Caesar that the fifteenth of March will be a dangerous day for him. When Caesar and others…

Act 1, scene 3

Casca, meeting Cicero, describes the marvels visible in the streets that night and suggests that the marvels foretell important events…

Act 2, scene 1

Brutus anxiously ponders joining the conspiracy against Caesar. When he is brought one of the unsigned letters that Cassius has…

Act 2, scene 2

It is now the fifteenth of March. Calphurnia, Caesar’s wife, persuades him to stay home because she fears for his…

Act 2, scene 3

Artemidorus waits in the street for Caesar in order to give him a letter warning him of the conspiracy.

Act 2, scene 4

Portia, who has been told of the conspirators’ plan to kill Caesar, waits anxiously for news of their success. She…

Act 3, scene 1

In the street Caesar brushes aside Artemidorus’s attempt to warn him of the conspiracy. Once inside the Capitol, the conspirators…

Act 3, scene 2

Brutus explains to the people that the cause of Caesar’s assassination was the preservation of the Roman Republic from Caesar’s…

Act 3, scene 3

Cinna the poet is attacked and killed by the Roman mob because his name is the same as that of…

Act 4, scene 1

Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius meet to condemn to death those who may oppose them. Sending Lepidus for Caesar’s will, Antony…

Act 4, scene 2

Brutus and Cassius each feel wronged by the other. They prepare to withdraw from the view of their armies to…

Act 4, scene 3

Brutus and Cassius exchange accusations in Brutus’s tent. They grow angry with each other but are quickly reconciled, and Brutus…

Act 5, scene 1

The opposing armies confront each other at Philippi. Before the battle, Brutus and Cassius exchange insults with Antony and Octavius….

Act 5, scene 2

Brutus sends Messala to throw all Brutus’s legions into the battle.

Act 5, scene 3

Cassius, mistakenly believing that the battle has been lost and that Titinius has been taken captive, orders Pindarus to kill…

Act 5, scene 4

Brutus’s forces are defeated in the second battle. Lucilius calls attention to himself and away from Brutus by announcing himself…

Act 5, scene 5

Brutus begs four of his followers to assist him in his suicide. All but the fourth decline. Brutus kills himself….

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Scene 1
Enter Flavius, Marullus, and certain Commoners,
including a Carpenter and a Cobbler, over the stage.


FLAVIUS 
 Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home!
 Is this a holiday? What, know you not,
 Being mechanical, you ought not walk
 Upon a laboring day without the sign
5 Of your profession?—Speak, what trade art thou?
CARPENTER 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?
COBBLER 10Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am
 but, as you would say, a cobbler.
MARULLUS 
 But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
COBBLER A trade, sir, that I hope I may use with a safe
 conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad
15 soles.
FLAVIUS 
 What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what
 trade?
7

9
Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 1

COBBLER Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me.
 Yet if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
MARULLUS 
20 What mean’st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy
 fellow?
COBBLER Why, sir, cobble you.
FLAVIUS Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
COBBLER Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the
25 awl. I meddle with no tradesman’s matters nor
 women’s matters, but withal I am indeed, sir, a
 surgeon to old shoes: when they are in great danger,
 I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
 neat’s leather have gone upon my handiwork.
FLAVIUS 
30 But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
 Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
COBBLER 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
35 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
40 things!
 O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
 Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
 Have you climbed up to walls and battlements,
 To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops,
45 Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
 The livelong day, with patient expectation,
 To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.
 And when you saw his chariot but appear,
 Have you not made an universal shout,
50 That Tiber trembled underneath her banks

11
Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 1

 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?
55 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
60 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
65 Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
All the Commoners exit.
 See whe’er their basest mettle 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
70 If you do find them decked with ceremonies.
MARULLUS May we do so?
 You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
FLAVIUS 
 It is no matter. Let no images
 Be hung with Caesar’s trophies. I’ll about
75 And drive away the vulgar from the streets;
 So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
 These growing feathers plucked from Caesar’s wing
 Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
 Who else would soar above the view of men
80 And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
They exit in different directions.