Julius Caesar :   Act 2, Scene 1


    
      Enter BRUTUS in his orchard.   orchard garden >>>
    
      BRUTUS   
      What, Lucius, ho!   
      I cannot, by the progress of the stars,   progress movement, location >>>
      Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!   Give . . . day make a guess about how near
      I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.   it is to daylight
2.1.5      When, Lucius, when? awake, I say! what, Lucius!   When i.e., when are you going to come?
    
      Enter LUCIUS    
    
      LUCIUS   
      Call'd you, my lord?   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:   Get me put for me | taper candle
      When it is lighted, come and call me here.   
    
      LUCIUS   
      I will, my lord.   
    
      Exit [LUCIUS].    
    
      BRUTUS   
2.1.10      It must be by his death: and for my part,   his i.e., Caesar's
      I know no personal cause to spurn at him,   spurn kick
      But for the general. He would be crown'd:   the general the common good
      How that might change his nature, there's the question.   
      It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;   
2.1.15      And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,   craves requires | that i.e., king, emperor
      And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,   
      That at his will he may do danger with.   
      The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins   
      Remorse from power: and, to speak truth of Caesar,   Remorse conscience, compassion
2.1.20      I have not known when his affections sway'd   affections sway'd passions ruled (him)
      More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,   proof experience
      That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,   lowliness (pretended) humbleness | young new
      Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;   
      But when he once attains the upmost round.   round rung
2.1.25      He then unto the ladder turns his back,   
      Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees   base degrees literally, low rungs;
      By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.   metaphorically, contemptible means
      Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel   
      Will bear no colour for the thing he is,   Will . . . is cannot be justified on the basis of
2.1.30      Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,   anything he has done so far | Fashion explain
      Would run to these and these extremities:   
      And therefore think him as a serpent's egg   
      Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,   as his kind according to his nature
      And kill him in the shell.   mischievous dangerous, harmful
    
      Enter LUCIUS.    
    
      LUCIUS   
2.1.35      The taper burneth in your closet, sir.   closet private room, study
      Searching the window for a flint, I found   flint A stone used to strike a spark.
      This paper, thus seal'd up; and, I am sure,   thus seal'd up Lucius makes sure that Brutus
      It did not lie there when I went to bed.   knows he didn't open the letter.
    
      Gives him the letter.    
    
      BRUTUS   
      Get you to bed again; it is not day.   
2.1.40      Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?   the ides the middle (of any month)
    
      LUCIUS   
      I know not, sir.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Look in the calendar, and bring me word.   
    
      LUCIUS   
      I will, sir.   
    
      Exit [LUCIUS].    
    
      BRUTUS   
      The exhalations whizzing in the air   exhalations meteors >>>
2.1.45      Give so much light that I may read by them.   
    
      Opens the letter and reads.    
    
      "Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake, and see thyself.   
      Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!   etc. and such things >>>
      Brutus, thou sleep'st: awake!"   
      Such instigations have been often dropp'd   
2.1.50      Where I have took them up.   
      "Shall Rome, etc." Thus must I piece it out:   piece it out fill it out, complete the thought
      Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?      under one man's awe in awe of one man
      My ancestors did from the streets of Rome   
      The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.   Tarquin Tarquin the Proud >>>
2.1.55      "Speak, strike, redress!" Am I entreated   
      To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise:   
      If the redress will follow, thou receivest   the redress i.e., the restoration of the Roman
      Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!   republic | will follow will be the result
    Thy full petition everything you're asking for
      Enter LUCIUS.  at the hand of Brutus from the hand of Brutus
    
      LUCIUS   
      Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.   
    
      Knock within.    
    
      BRUTUS   
2.1.60      'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.   
    
      Exit LUCIUS.    
    
      Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,   whet sharpen, incite
      I have not slept.   
      Between the acting of a dreadful thing   
      And the first motion, all the interim is   motion impulse, proposal
2.1.65      Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:   phantasma hallucination
      The Genius and the mortal instruments   Genius guiding spirit, characteristic
      Are then in council; and the state of man,   disposition >>> | mortal instruments physical
      Like to a little kingdom, suffers then   and psychological attributes >>>
      The nature of an insurrection.   in council debating | suffers undergoes
    insurrection riot
      Enter LUCIUS.    
    
      LUCIUS   
2.1.70      Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door,   brother i.e., brother-in-law (Cassius had
      Who doth desire to see you.   married a sister of Brutus.)
    
      BRUTUS   
                                           Is he alone?   
    
      LUCIUS   
      No, sir, there are moe with him.   moe more
    
      BRUTUS   
                                                Do you know them?   
    
      LUCIUS   
      No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears,   pluck'd about pulled down over
      And half their faces buried in their cloaks,   
2.1.75      That by no means I may discover them   discover recognize, identify
      By any mark of favour.   mark of favour distinctive appearance
    
      BRUTUS   
                                   Let 'em enter.   
    
      Exit LUCIUS.    
    
      They are the faction. O conspiracy,   
      Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,   
      When evils are most free? O, then by day   free i.e., free to roam about
2.1.80      Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough   
      To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;   
      Hide it in smiles and affability:   
      For if thou put thy native semblance on,   put thy native semblance on show your
      Not Erebus itself were dim enough   natural appearance | Erebus dark underworld
2.1.85      To hide thee from prevention.   from prevention from being recognized and
    forestalled
      Enter the conspirators, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS,     
      CINNA, METELLUS [CIMBER], and TREBONIUS.     
    
      CASSIUS   
      I think we are too bold upon your rest:   are too bold upon too boldly intrude upon
      Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?   
    
      BRUTUS   
      I have been up this hour, awake all night.   this hour for at least an hour
      Know I these men that come along with you?   
    
      CASSIUS   
2.1.90      Yes, every man of them, and no man here   
      But honours you; and every one doth wish   
      You had but that opinion of yourself   You had but you only had
      Which every noble Roman bears of you.   
      This is Trebonius.   
    
      BRUTUS   
                               He is welcome hither.   
    
      CASSIUS   
2.1.95      This, Decius Brutus.   
    
      BRUTUS   
                                  He is welcome too.   
    
      CASSIUS   
      This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this, Metellus Cimber.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      They are all welcome.   
      What watchful cares do interpose themselves   watchful cares worries that keep one awake
      Betwixt your eyes and night?   
    
      CASSIUS   
2.1.100      Shall I entreat a word?   Shall I entreat a word? i.e., Could I have a
    private word with you?
      They whisper.    
    
      DECIUS   
      Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?   Here lies in this direction is (Decius points.)
    
      CASCA   
      No.   
    
      CINNA   
      O, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon gray lines   
      That fret the clouds are messengers of day.   fret interlace
    
      CASCA   
2.1.105      You shall confess that you are both deceived.   deceived mistaken
      Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,   
      Which is a great way growing on the south,   a great way growing on the south i.e., quite a
      Weighing the youthful season of the year.   ways south of due east | Weighing considering
      Some two months hence up higher toward the north   
2.1.110      He first presents his fire; and the high east   the high east due east
      Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.   as the Capitol as does the Capitol
    
      BRUTUS   
      Give me your hands all over, one by one.   Give me your hands all over give me all of
    your hands again (Presumably, Brutus has
      CASSIUS   shaken hands with the conspirators when they
      And let us swear our resolution.   were introduced to him.)
    
      BRUTUS   
      No, not an oath: if not the face of men,   the face (troubled) expressions
2.1.115      The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse—   sufferance suffering | the time's abuse the cor-
      If these be motives weak, break off betimes,   ruption of these times | betimes immediately
      And every man hence to his idle bed;   hence go from here | idle empty, useless
      So let high-sighted tyranny range on,   high-sighted looking down, like a bird of prey
      Till each man drop by lottery. But if these   range on stay on the prowl | by lottery by
2.1.120      (As I am sure they do) bear fire enough   chance (at Caesar's whim) | these the reasons
      To kindle cowards and to steel with valour   Brutus cited at the beginning of his speech
      The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,   
      What need we any spur but our own cause,   
      To prick us to redress? what other bond   prick us spur us on
2.1.125      Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word,   what . . . palter i.e., What other bond do we
      And will not palter? and what other oath   need if we know that we are Romans who will
      Than honesty to honesty engaged,   keep a secret, and not go back on our word?
      That this shall be, or we will fall for it?   honesty personal honor | engaged pledged
      Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,   Swear let swear | cautelous deceitful, shifty
2.1.130      Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls   carrions half-dead men | suffering souls those
      That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear   who will put with anything | unto . . . doubt men
      Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain   whom others suspect of bad faith swear
      The even virtue of our enterprise,   themselves to bad causes | even steadfast
      Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits,   insuppressive mettle indomitable strength
2.1.135      To think that or our cause or our performance   or . . . or either . . . or
      Did need an oath; when every drop of blood   
      That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,   
      Is guilty of a several bastardy,   several individual (In a Roman who does not
      If he do break the smallest particle   keep his word, each drop of blood is guilty of
2.1.140      Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.   bastardy.)
    
      CASSIUS   
      But what of Cicero? shall we sound him?   sound him sound him out
      I think he will stand very strong with us.   
    
      CASCA   
      Let us not leave him out.   
    
      CINNA   
                                       No, by no means.   
    
      METELLUS CIMBER   
      O, let us have him, for his silver hairs   
2.1.145      Will purchase us a good opinion   purchase procure (There's a little pun on
      And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:   "silver" as coins.) | opinion reputation
      It shall be said, his judgment ruled our hands;   
      Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,   no whit not at all
      But all be buried in his gravity.   
    
      BRUTUS   
2.1.150      O, name him not: let us not break with him;   break with him tell our secret to him
      For he will never follow any thing   
      That other men begin.   
    
      CASSIUS   
                                  Then leave him out.   
    
      CASCA   
      Indeed he is not fit.   
    
      DECIUS   
      Shall no man else be touch'd but only Caesar?   touch'd harmed
    
      CASSIUS   
2.1.155      Decius, well urged: I think it is not meet,   not meet not appropriate (that)
      Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,   
      Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him   find of him find that he is
      A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,   shrewd contriver malicious schemer
      If he improve them, may well stretch so far   means resources (such as wealth and reputation)
2.1.160      As to annoy us all: which to prevent,   improve them take advantage of them
      Let Antony and Caesar fall together.   annoy harm, injure
    
      BRUTUS   
      Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,   
      To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,   
      Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;   envy malice, spite
2.1.165      For Antony is but a limb of Caesar:   
      Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.   
      We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar;   
      And in the spirit of men there is no blood:   
      O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit,   come by seize
2.1.170      And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,   
      Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,   
      Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;   
      Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,   
      Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:   
2.1.175      And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,   subtle astute
      Stir up their servants to an act of rage,   servants metaphorically: hands; passions
      And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make   chide reprove, scold | 'em them
      Our purpose necessary and not envious:   make i.e., appear to make
      Which so appearing to the common eyes,   envious malicious, spiteful
2.1.180      We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.   common eyes opinion of the general populace
      And for Mark Antony, think not of him;   purgers healers, purifiers >>>
      For he can do no more than Caesar's arm   
      When Caesar's head is off.   
    
      CASSIUS   
                                          Yet I fear him;   
      For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar—   ingrafted deep-rooted
    
      BRUTUS   
2.1.185      Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him:   
      If he love Caesar, all that he can do   
      Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar:   take thought plunge into melancholy
      And that were much he should; for he is given   were much he should more than he is likely to
      To sports, to wildness and much company.   do
    
      TREBONIUS   
2.1.190      There is no fear in him; let him not die;   no fear in him nothing to fear from him
      For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.   
    
      Clock strikes  Clock strikes (There were striking clocks in
    Shakespeare's England, but not in Caesar's
      BRUTUS   Rome.)
      Peace! count the clock.   Peace! Be quiet!
    
      CASSIUS   
                                    The clock hath stricken three.   
    
      TREBONIUS   
      'Tis time to part.   part depart, break up the meeting
    
      CASSIUS   
                               But it is doubtful yet,   
      Whether Caesar will come forth to-day, or no;   
2.1.195      For he is superstitious grown of late,   
      Quite from the main opinion he held once   Quite from the main opinion contrary to the
      Of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies:   strong opinion | Of about | ceremonies rites
      It may be, these apparent prodigies,   of divination | apparent prodigies strange
      The unaccustom'd terror of this night,   omens now appearing
2.1.200      And the persuasion of his augurers,   augurers augurs, priests who interpreted omens
      May hold him from the Capitol to-day.   
    
      DECIUS   
      Never fear that: if he be so resolved,   
      I can o'ersway him; for he loves to hear   o'ersway him make him change his mind
      That unicorns may be betray'd with trees,   betray'd captured by trickery >>>
2.1.205      And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,   glasses mirrors (Bears are very vain, so a hunter
      Lions with toils and men with flatterers;   can sneak up on one while it's admiring itself.)
      But when I tell him he hates flatterers,   holes pitfalls | toils nets
      He says he does, being then most flattered.   
      Let me work;   
2.1.210      For I can give his humour the true bent,   humour disposition | true bent right direction >>>
      And I will bring him to the Capitol.   
    
      CASSIUS   
      Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?   eighth 8 a.m. | the uttermost the latest, the dead-
    line
      CINNA   
      Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.   Be that i.e., yes, let's say that it is
    fail not then i.e., be sure to show up by then
      METELLUS CIMBER   
2.1.215      Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard,   bear . . . hard hold a grudge against
      Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey:   rated berated, rebuked
      I wonder none of you have thought of him.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Now, good Metellus, go along by him:   along by him to his house
      He loves me well, and I have given him reasons;   given him reasons i.e., done him favors
2.1.220      Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him.   fashion him shape him (to our purposes)
    
      CASSIUS   
      The morning comes upon 's: we'll leave you, Brutus.   
      And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember   disperse yourselves (So that they won't walk
      What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.   out of Brutus' garden in a group, looking like
    conspirators.)
      BRUTUS   
      Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;   
2.1.225      Let not our looks put on our purposes,   put on show the signs of
      But bear it as our Roman actors do,   
      With untired spirits and formal constancy:   formal constancy consistent adherence to form
      And so good morrow to you every one.   (They should act as they usually do.)
    
      Exeunt. Manet Brutus.  Manet remains (Brutus stays on stage after the
    others leave.)
      Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter;   
2.1.230      Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber:   
      Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,   figures imaginings
      Which busy care draws in the brains of men;   busy care insistent worries
      Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.   
    
      Enter PORTIA    
    
      PORTIA   
                                              Brutus, my lord!   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Portia, what mean you? wherefore rise you now?   
2.1.235      It is not for your health thus to commit   for good for
      Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.   weak condition poor health
    
      PORTIA   
      Nor for yours neither. You've ungently, Brutus,   ungently discourteously, unkindly
      Stole from my bed: and yesternight, at supper,   
      You suddenly arose, and walk'd about,   
2.1.240      Musing and sighing, with your arms across,   across folded across the chest (A sign of
      And when I ask'd you what the matter was,   melancholy.)
      You stared upon me with ungentle looks;   ungentle discourteous
      I urged you further; then you scratch'd your head,   urged you further asked you again (what the
      And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot;   matter was)
2.1.245      Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not,   Yet . . . yet still . . . still | insisted kept trying
      But, with an angry wafture of your hand,   wafture waving
      Gave sign for me to leave you: so I did;   
      Fearing to strengthen that impatience   
      Which seem'd too much enkindled, and withal   
2.1.250      Hoping it was but an effect of humour,   humour moodiness
      Which sometime hath his hour with every man.   his its
      It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,   
      And could it work so much upon your shape   shape physical appearance
      As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,   condition state of mind
2.1.255      I should not know you Brutus. Dear my lord,   I should not know you Brutus I wouldn't
      Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.   recognize you as Brutus
    
      BRUTUS   
      I am not well in health, and that is all.   
    
      PORTIA   
      Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,   
      He would embrace the means to come by it.   He . . . it i.e., he would do whatever was required
     to restore himself to health
      BRUTUS   
2.1.260      Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.   Why, so I do (His hidden meaning is that he
    has embraced the means of restoring health—
      PORTIA   the health of Rome.)
      Is Brutus sick? and is it physical   physical healthful
      To walk unbraced and suck up the humours   unbraced with an open jacket | humours mists
      Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,   
      And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,   
2.1.265      To dare the vile contagion of the night   dare risk
      And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air   rheumy and unpurged air i.e., air which makes
      To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;    a person sick >>>
      You have some sick offence within your mind,   offence disturbance, illness
      Which, by the right and virtue of my place,   virtue prerogative | my place (as your wife)
2.1.270      I ought to know of: and, upon my knees,   
      I charm you, by my once-commended beauty,   charm conjure, entreat
      By all your vows of love and that great vow   that great vow i.e., Brutus' marriage vow
      Which did incorporate and make us one,   
      That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,   unfold reveal
2.1.275      Why you are heavy, and what men to-night   heavy depressed
      Have had resort to you: for here have been   Have had resort to you have sought you out
      Some six or seven, who did hide their faces   
      Even from darkness.   
    
      BRUTUS   
                                Kneel not, gentle Portia.   
    
      PORTIA   
      I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.   gentle noble, generous, courteous
2.1.280      Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,   
      Is it excepted I should know no secrets   excepted stated as a condition (of their
      That appertain to you? Am I yourself   marriage)
      But, as it were, in sort or limitation,   in sort or limitation in a sort of a way, with
      To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,   limitations
2.1.285      And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs   suburbs outlying areas
      Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,   
      Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.   harlot (In Shakespeare's time, prostitutes
    frequented the "suburbs.")
      BRUTUS   
      You are my true and honourable wife,   
      As dear to me as are the ruddy drops   ruddy red | drops (of blood)
2.1.290      That visit my sad heart   sad depressed, troubled
    
      PORTIA   
      If this were true, then should I know this secret.   
      I grant I am a woman; but withal   withal with-all, still, nevertheless
      A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:   
      I grant I am a woman; but withal   
2.1.295      A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter.   Cato Cato the Younger, famous for his
      Think you I am no stronger than my sex,   integrity and Stoicism >>>
      Being so father'd and so husbanded?   
      Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose 'em:   counsels secrets
      I have made strong proof of my constancy,   constancy Stoicism, trustworthiness
2.1.300      Giving myself a voluntary wound   
      Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience.   Here, in the thigh (There's no stage direction,
      And not my husband's secrets?   but surely she must show the bloody wound.)
    
      BRUTUS   
                                         O ye gods,   
      Render me worthy of this noble wife!   Render me make me
    
      Knocking within    
    
      Hark, hark! one knocks: Portia, go in awhile;   
2.1.305      And by and by thy bosom shall partake   partake share, receive
      The secrets of my heart.   
      All my engagements I will construe to thee,   engagements commitments | construe explain
      All the charactery of my sad brows:   charactery handwriting | sad troubled
      Leave me with haste.   
    
      Exit PORTIA.    
    
                                 Lucius, who's that knocks?   
    
      Enter LUCIUS and [CAIUS] LIGARIUS     
      [wearing a kerchief].    
    
      LUCIUS   
2.1.310      He is a sick man that would speak with you.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.   
      Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius, how?   how? i.e., what's up? or how are you doing?
    
      LIGARIUS   
      Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.   Vouchsafe good morrow please accept a
    "good morning"
      BRUTUS   
      O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,   brave noble
2.1.315      To wear a kerchief! Would you were not sick!   wear a kerchief i.e., be sick >>>
    
      LIGARIUS   
      I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand   
      Any exploit worthy the name of honour.   
    
      BRUTUS   
      Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,   
      Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.   
    
      LIGARIUS   
2.1.320      By all the gods that Romans bow before,   
      I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!   
      Brave son, derived from honourable loins!   
      Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up   exorcist magician (one that drives out evil
      My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,   spirits) | conjured up magically raised
2.1.325      And I will strive with things impossible;   mortified deadened
      Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?   
    
      BRUTUS   
      A piece of work that will make sick men whole.   whole healthy (Brutus means that they will rid
    Rome of the sickness of Caesar's tyranny.)
      LIGARIUS   
      But are not some whole that we must make sick?   
    
      BRUTUS   
      That must we also. What it is, my Caius,   
2.1.330      I shall unfold to thee, as we are going   unfold reveal, explain
      To whom it must be done.   
    
      LIGARIUS   
                                      Set on your foot,   Set on your foot i.e., lead the way
      And with a heart new-fired I follow you,   
      To do I know not what: but it sufficeth   
      That Brutus leads me on.   
    
      Thunder.    
    
    
      BRUTUS   
    
                                     Follow me, then.   
    
      Exeunt.