List iconJulius Caesar:
Act 1, scene 3
List icon

Julius Caesar
Act 1, scene 3



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 3
Thunder and lightning. Enter Casca and Cicero.

 Good even, Casca. Brought you Caesar home?
 Why are you breathless? And why stare you so?
 Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth
 Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
5 I have seen tempests when the scolding winds
 Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen
 Th’ ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam
 To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds;
 But never till tonight, never till now,
10 Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
 Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
 Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
 Incenses them to send destruction.
 Why, saw you anything more wonderful?
15 A common slave (you know him well by sight)
 Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
 Like twenty torches joined; and yet his hand,
 Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched.
 Besides (I ha’ not since put up my sword),
20 Against the Capitol I met a lion,
 Who glazed upon me and went surly by
 Without annoying me. And there were drawn
 Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
 Transformèd with their fear, who swore they saw
25 Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
 And yesterday the bird of night did sit
 Even at noonday upon the marketplace,
 Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
 Do so conjointly meet, let not men say

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 3

30 “These are their reasons, they are natural,”
 For I believe they are portentous things
 Unto the climate that they point upon.
 Indeed, it is a strange-disposèd time.
 But men may construe things after their fashion,
35 Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
 Comes Caesar to the Capitol tomorrow?
 He doth, for he did bid Antonius
 Send word to you he would be there tomorrow.
 Good night then, Casca. This disturbèd sky
40 Is not to walk in.
CASCA  Farewell, CiceroCicero exits.

Enter Cassius.

 Who’s there?
CASCA  A Roman.
CASSIUS  Casca, by your voice.
45 Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
 A very pleasing night to honest men.
 Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
 Those that have known the Earth so full of faults.
 For my part, I have walked about the streets,
50 Submitting me unto the perilous night,
 And thus unbracèd, Casca, as you see,
 Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;
 And when the cross blue lightning seemed to open
 The breast of heaven, I did present myself
55 Even in the aim and very flash of it.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 3

 But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
 It is the part of men to fear and tremble
 When the most mighty gods by tokens send
 Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
60 You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life
 That should be in a Roman you do want,
 Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
 And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
 To see the strange impatience of the heavens.
65 But if you would consider the true cause
 Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
 Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
 Why old men, fools, and children calculate,
 Why all these things change from their ordinance,
70 Their natures, and preformèd faculties,
 To monstrous quality—why, you shall find
 That heaven hath infused them with these spirits
 To make them instruments of fear and warning
 Unto some monstrous state.
75 Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
 Most like this dreadful night,
 That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
 As doth the lion in the Capitol;
 A man no mightier than thyself or me
80 In personal action, yet prodigious grown,
 And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
 ’Tis Caesar that you mean, is it not, Cassius?
 Let it be who it is. For Romans now
 Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors.
85 But, woe the while, our fathers’ minds are dead,
 And we are governed with our mothers’ spirits.
 Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Indeed, they say the Senators tomorrow
 Mean to establish Caesar as a king,
90 And he shall wear his crown by sea and land
 In every place save here in Italy.
 I know where I will wear this dagger then;
 Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.
 Therein, you gods, you make the weak most strong;
95 Therein, you gods, you tyrants do defeat.
 Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
 Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
 Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
 But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
100 Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
 If I know this, know all the world besides,
 That part of tyranny that I do bear
 I can shake off at pleasure.Thunder still.
CASCA  So can I.
105 So every bondman in his own hand bears
 The power to cancel his captivity.
 And why should Caesar be a tyrant, then?
 Poor man, I know he would not be a wolf
 But that he sees the Romans are but sheep;
110 He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
 Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
 Begin it with weak straws. What trash is Rome,
 What rubbish, and what offal when it serves
 For the base matter to illuminate
115 So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief,
 Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this
 Before a willing bondman; then, I know
 My answer must be made. But I am armed,
 And dangers are to me indifferent.

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 3

120 You speak to Casca, and to such a man
 That is no fleering telltale. Hold. My hand.
They shake hands.
 Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
 And I will set this foot of mine as far
 As who goes farthest.
CASSIUS 125 There’s a bargain made.
 Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
 Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
 To undergo with me an enterprise
 Of honorable-dangerous consequence.
130 And I do know by this they stay for me
 In Pompey’s Porch. For now, this fearful night,
 There is no stir or walking in the streets;
 And the complexion of the element
 In favor ’s like the work we have in hand,
135 Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Enter Cinna.

 Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
 ’Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait.
 He is a friend.—Cinna, where haste you so?
 To find out you. Who’s that? Metellus Cimber?
140 No, it is Casca, one incorporate
 To our attempts. Am I not stayed for, Cinna?
 I am glad on ’t. What a fearful night is this!
 There’s two or three of us have seen strange sights.
CASSIUS Am I not stayed for? Tell me.
145 Yes, you are. O Cassius, if you could
 But win the noble Brutus to our party—

Julius Caesar
ACT 1. SC. 3

CASSIUS, handing him papers 
 Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
 And look you lay it in the Praetor’s chair,
 Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
150 In at his window; set this up with wax
 Upon old Brutus’ statue. All this done,
 Repair to Pompey’s Porch, where you shall find us.
 Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
 All but Metellus Cimber, and he’s gone
155 To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie
 And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
 That done, repair to Pompey’s Theater.
Cinna exits.
 Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day
 See Brutus at his house. Three parts of him
160 Is ours already, and the man entire
 Upon the next encounter yields him ours.
 O, he sits high in all the people’s hearts,
 And that which would appear offense in us
 His countenance, like richest alchemy,
165 Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
 Him and his worth and our great need of him
 You have right well conceited. Let us go,
 For it is after midnight, and ere day
 We will awake him and be sure of him.
They exit.