List iconJulius Caesar:
Act 1, scene 2
List icon

Julius Caesar
Act 1, scene 2



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 2
Enter Caesar, Antony for the course, Calphurnia, Portia,
Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, a Soothsayer;
after them Marullus and Flavius and Commoners.

CASCA  Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.
CAESAR  Calphurnia.
CALPHURNIA Here, my lord.
5 Stand you directly in Antonius’ way
 When he doth run his course.—Antonius.
ANTONY Caesar, my lord.
 Forget not in your speed, Antonius,
 To touch Calphurnia, for our elders say
10 The barren, touchèd in this holy chase,
 Shake off their sterile curse.
ANTONY  I shall remember.
 When Caesar says “Do this,” it is performed.
 Set on and leave no ceremony out.Sennet.
CAESAR Ha! Who calls?
 Bid every noise be still. Peace, yet again!
 Who is it in the press that calls on me?
 I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
20 Cry “Caesar.” Speak. Caesar is turned to hear.
 Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR  What man is that?
 A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Set him before me. Let me see his face.
25 Fellow, come from the throng.
The Soothsayer comes forward.
 Look upon Caesar.
 What sayst thou to me now? Speak once again.
SOOTHSAYER Beware the ides of March.
 He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass.
Sennet. All but Brutus and Cassius exit.
30 Will you go see the order of the course?
CASSIUS I pray you, do.
 I am not gamesome. I do lack some part
 Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
35 Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires.
 I’ll leave you.
 Brutus, I do observe you now of late.
 I have not from your eyes that gentleness
 And show of love as I was wont to have.
40 You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
 Over your friend that loves you.
BRUTUS  Cassius,
 Be not deceived. If I have veiled my look,
 I turn the trouble of my countenance
45 Merely upon myself. Vexèd I am
 Of 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
50 (Among which number, Cassius, be you one)

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Nor construe any further my neglect
 Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
 Forgets the shows of love to other men.
 Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,
55 By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
 Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
 Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
 No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself
 But by reflection, by some other things.
CASSIUS 60’Tis just.
 And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
 That you have no such mirrors as will turn
 Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
 That you might see your shadow. I have heard
65 Where many of the best respect in Rome,
 Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
 And groaning underneath this age’s yoke,
 Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.
 Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
70 That you would have me seek into myself
 For that which is not in me?
 Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear.
 And since you know you cannot see yourself
 So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
75 Will modestly discover to yourself
 That of yourself which you yet know not of.
 And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus.
 Were I a common laughter, or did use
 To stale with ordinary oaths my love
80 To every new protester; if you know
 That I do fawn on men and hug them hard
 And after scandal them, or if you know

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 That I profess myself in banqueting
 To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
Flourish and shout.
85 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.
 I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well.
90 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’ th’ other
 And I will look on both indifferently;
95 For let the gods so speed me as I love
 The name of honor more than I fear death.
 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.
100 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
 In awe of such a thing as I myself.
 I was born free as Caesar; so were you;
105 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,
 Caesar said to me “Dar’st thou, Cassius, now
110 Leap in with me into this angry flood
 And swim to yonder point?” Upon the word,
 Accoutered as I was, I plungèd in
 And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
 The torrent roared, and we did buffet it

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

115 With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
 And 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,
120 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
125 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
 How he did shake. ’Tis true, this god did shake.
 His coward lips did from their color fly,
130 And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
 Did lose his luster. I did hear him groan.
 Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
 Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
 “Alas,” it cried “Give me some drink, Titinius”
135 As a sick girl. You gods, it doth amaze me
 A man of such a feeble temper should
 So get the start of the majestic world
 And bear the palm alone.
Shout. Flourish.
BRUTUS Another general shout!
140 I do believe that these applauses are
 For some new honors that are heaped on Caesar.
 Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
 Like a Colossus, and we petty men
 Walk under his huge legs and peep about
145 To 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.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 “Brutus” and “Caesar”—what should be in that
150 “Caesar”?
 Why should that name be sounded more than
 Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
155 Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em,
 “Brutus” will start a spirit as soon as “Caesar.”
 Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
 Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed
 That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
160 Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
 When went there by an age, since the great flood,
 But it was famed with more than with one man?
 When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,
 That her wide walks encompassed but one man?
165 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
 Th’ eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
170 As easily as a king.
 That you do love me, I am nothing jealous.
 What you would work me to, I have some aim.
 How I have thought of this, and of these times,
 I shall recount hereafter. For this present,
175 I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
 Be any further moved. What you have said
 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.
180 Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
 Brutus had rather be a villager
 Than to repute himself a son of Rome

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Under these hard conditions as this time
 Is like to lay upon us.
CASSIUS 185I am glad that my weak words
 Have struck but thus much show of fire from

Enter Caesar and his train.

 The games are done, and Caesar is returning.
 As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,
190 And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
 What hath proceeded worthy note today.
 I will do so. But look you, Cassius,
 The angry spot doth glow on Caesar’s brow,
 And all the rest look like a chidden train.
195 Calphurnia’s cheek is pale, and Cicero
 Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
 As we have seen him in the Capitol,
 Being crossed in conference by some senators.
 Casca will tell us what the matter is.
CAESAR 200Antonius.
ANTONY 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.
205 He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.
 Fear him not, Caesar; he’s not dangerous.
 He is a noble Roman, and well given.
 Would he were fatter! But I fear him not.
 Yet if my name were liable to fear,

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

210 I do not know the man I should avoid
 So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,
 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;
215 Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
 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,
220 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. Caesar and his train exit
but Casca remains behind.

CASCA 225You pulled me by the cloak. Would you speak
 with me?
 Ay, Casca. Tell us what hath chanced today
 That Caesar looks so sad.
CASCA Why, you were with him, were you not?
230 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, and then the people fell a-shouting.
BRUTUS What was the second noise for?
CASCA 235Why, for that too.
 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
240 time gentler than other; and at every putting-by,
 mine honest neighbors shouted.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

CASSIUS Who offered him the crown?
CASCA Why, Antony.
 Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
CASCA 245I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it.
 It was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark
 Antony offer him a crown (yet ’twas not a crown
 neither; ’twas one of these coronets), and, as I told
 you, he put it by once; but for all that, to my
250 thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered
 it to him again; then he put it by 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 rabblement
255 hooted and clapped their chopped hands and
 threw up their sweaty nightcaps and uttered such a
 deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the
 crown that it had almost choked Caesar, for he
 swooned and fell down at it. And for mine own part,
260 I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and
 receiving the bad air.
 But soft, I pray you. What, did Caesar swoon?
CASCA He fell down in the marketplace and foamed at
 mouth and was speechless.
265 ’Tis very like; he hath the falling sickness.
 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
270 clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and
 displeased them, as they use to do the players in the
 theater, I am no true man.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 What said he when he came unto himself?
CASCA Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived
275 the common herd was glad he refused the crown,
 he plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
 throat to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation,
 if I would not have taken him at a word, I
 would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so
280 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 “Alas, good soul!” and
 forgave him with all their hearts. But there’s no
285 heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had stabbed
 their mothers, they would have done no less.
 And, after that, he came thus sad away?
CASSIUS Did Cicero say anything?
CASCA 290Ay, 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
295 own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
 news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarves
 off Caesar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you
 well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember
CASSIUS 300Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?
CASCA No, I am promised forth.
CASSIUS Will you dine with me tomorrow?
CASCA Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your
 dinner worth the eating.
CASSIUS 305Good. I will expect you.
CASCA Do so. Farewell both.He exits.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 2

 What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
 He was quick mettle when he went to school.
 So is he now in execution
310 Of any bold or noble enterprise,
 However he puts on this tardy form.
 This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
 Which gives men stomach to digest his words
 With better appetite.
315 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.
 I will do so. Till then, think of the world.
Brutus exits.
320 Well, Brutus, thou art noble. Yet I see
 Thy honorable mettle may be wrought
 From that it is disposed. Therefore it is meet
 That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
 For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
325 Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.
 If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
 He should not humor me. I will this night
 In several hands in at his windows throw,
 As if they came from several citizens,
330 Writings, all tending to the great opinion
 That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely
 Caesar’s ambition shall be glancèd at
 And after this, let Caesar seat him sure,
 For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
He exits.