Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Julius Caesar :   Act 1, Scene 3

      Thunder and lightning. Enter [from opposite sides]   
      CASCA [with his sword drawn] and CICERO.  
      Good even, Casca: brought you Caesar home?   brought attended, escorted
      Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?   
      Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth   sway realm, order
      Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,   
1.3.5      I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds   
      Have riv'd the knotty oaks, and I have seen   riv'd split
      The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,   
      To be exalted with the threatening clouds:   exalted with raised to the height of
      But never till to-night, never till now,   
1.3.10      Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.   dropping fire >>>
      Either there is a civil strife in heaven,   civil strife civil war, i.e., a war among the gods
      Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,   saucy insolent, disrespectful
      Incenses them to send destruction.   Incenses incites, provokes
      Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?   any thing more wonderful anything else that was
1.3.15      A common slave—you know him well by sight—   
      Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn   
      Like twenty torches join'd, and yet his hand,   
      Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.   Not sensible of fire not feeling the fire
      Besides—I ha' not since put up my sword—   I ha' not since put up my sword I have not since
1.3.20      Against the Capitol I met a lion,   then sheathed my sword | Against opposite or near
      Who glaz'd upon me, and went surly by,   glaz'd upon stared at, glared at
      Without annoying me: and there were drawn   annoying harming, threatening
      Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,   drawn / Upon a heap huddled together
      Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw   ghastly ashen, looking like ghosts
1.3.25      Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.   
      And yesterday the bird of night did sit   the bird of night the screech owl (which is a bird of
      Even at noon-day upon the market-place,   evil omen)
      Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies   prodigies abnormalities, wonders
      Do so conjointly meet, let not men say   Do so conjointly meet happen all at once
1.3.30      "These are their reasons; they are natural";   These this and that
      For, I believe, they are portentous things   
      Unto the climate that they point upon.   climate region (in this case, Rome)
      Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:   
      But men may construe things after their fashion,   construe interpret | after their fashion in their own
1.3.35      Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.   way | Clean from the purpose entirely opposite to
      Comes Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow?   the actual meaning
      He doth; for he did bid Antonius   
      Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.   
      Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky   
1.3.40      Is not to walk in.   
                             Farewell, Cicero.   
      Exit CICERO.   
      Enter CASSIUS [unbraced].   unbraced with his jacket open >>>
      Who's there?   
                       A Roman.   
                                         Casca, by your voice.   
      Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!   what night what a night
      A very pleasing night to honest men.   
      Who ever knew the heavens menace so?   
1.3.45      Those that have known the earth so full of faults.   
      For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,   
      Submitting me unto the perilous night,   
      And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,   unbraced with his jacket open
      Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;   thunder-stone thunder bolt
1.3.50      And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open   cross forked, jagged
      The breast of heaven, I did present myself   
      Even in the aim and very flash of it.   Even exactly
      But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?   
      It is the part of men to fear and tremble,   part appropriate role
1.3.55      When the most mighty gods by tokens send   by tokens as signs, omens
      Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.   dreadful heralds i.e., the thunder and lightning
    astonish stun, dismay
      You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life   dull lifeless
      That should be in a Roman you do want,   want lack
      Or else you use not. You look pale and gaze   you use not i.e., you do not show the "sparks of life"
1.3.60      And put on fear and cast yourself in wonder,   put on fear and cast yourself in wonder >>>
      To see the strange impatience of the heavens:   
      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,   from quality and kind contrary to their true natures
1.3.65      Why old men, fools, and children calculate,   old men i.e., foolish old men | calculate prophesy
      Why all these things change from their ordinance   from their ordinance away from their usual nature
      Their natures and preformed faculties   preformed faculties innate functions
      To monstrous quality,—why, you shall find   monstrous quality unnatural state or appearance
      That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,   spirits notions, impulses, also specters
1.3.70      To make them instruments of fear and warning   instruments . . . state means to make people afraid of
      Unto some monstrous state.   the advent of an unnatural government
      Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man   
      Most like this dreadful night,   
      That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars   
1.3.75      As doth the lion in the Capitol—   
      A man no mightier than thyself or me   
      In personal action, yet prodigious grown   prodigious ominous, portentous
      And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.   fearful terrifying | eruptions astounding sights,
    wild ideas
      'Tis Caesar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?   
1.3.80      Let it be who it is: for Romans now   
      Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;   thews sinews, muscles | like to their ancestors as their
      But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,   ancestors did | woe the while! alas for these times!
      And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;   
      Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.   yoke and sufferance burden and the willingness to
    endure the burden
1.3.85      Indeed, they say the senators tomorrow   
      Mean to establish Caesar as a king;   
      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;   where I will wear this dagger He will wear it in his
1.3.90      Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:   chest, his heart. He means that he can always escape
      Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;   tyranny by killing himself.
      Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:   
      Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,   Nor not, neither
      Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,   
1.3.95      Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;   Can be retentive to can imprison
      But life, being weary of these worldly bars,   bars prison bars, burdens
      Never lacks power to dismiss itself.   
      If I know this, know all the world besides,   know all the world besides i.e., let everyone else in
      That part of tyranny that I do bear   the world know
1.3.100      I can shake off at pleasure.   
      Thunder still.   
                                       So can I:   
      So every bondman in his own hand bears   bondman slave
      The power to cancel his captivity.   
      And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?   
      Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,   
1.3.105      But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:   But that except for the fact that | but sheep merely
      He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.   sheep | hinds female deer, also lowly servants
      Those that with haste will make a mighty fire   
      Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,   trash, offal garbage, also tinder >>>
      What rubbish and what offal, when it serves   
1.3.110      For the base matter to illuminate   
      So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief,   vile worthless | grief The grief to which Cassius
      Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this   speaks is his own grief for the degradation of Rome.
      Before a willing bondman; then I know   willing bondman voluntary slave
      My answer must be made. But I am arm'd,   My answer must be made i.e., I will have to face up
1.3.115      And dangers are to me indifferent.   to the consequences | arm'd prepared >>>
    indifferent unimportant
      You speak to Casca, and to such a man   
      That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:   no fleering tell-tale i.e., not a tattling suck-up
      Be factious for redress of all these griefs,   Hold i.e., enough said | my hand He's offering his
      And I will set this foot of mine as far   hand as a sign of his sincerity. | Be factious i.e., if you
1.3.120      As who goes farthest.   form a faction (a political movement)
    I . . . farthest i.e., I will do as much as anyone.
                                There's a bargain made.   There's by this (They grip or shake hands.)
      Now know you, Casca, I have moved already   moved persuaded, incited
      Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans   
      To undergo with me an enterprise   
      Of honourable-dangerous consequence;   consequence importance, character
1.3.125      And I do know, by this they stay for me   by this they stay for me by now they're waiting for me
      In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night,   Pompey's porch portico of Pompey's theater >>>
      There is no stir or walking in the streets;   
      And the complexion of the element   complexion of the element nature of the sky
      In favour's like the work we have in hand,   In favour's in appearance is
1.3.130      Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.   
      Enter CINNA.   
      Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.   close concealed
      '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?   
1.3.135      No, it is Casca; one incorporate   incorporate / To our attempts a party to our
      To our attempts. Am I not stay'd for, Cinna?   enterprise | stayed for waited for
      I am glad on 't. What a fearful night is this!   glad on 't glad of it (He's glad that Casca has joined
      There's two or three of us have seen strange sights.   the conspiracy.)
      Am I not stay'd for? tell me.   
                                        Yes, you are.   
1.3.140      O Cassius, if you could   
      But win the noble Brutus to our party—   
      Be you content: good Cinna, take this paper,   Be you content i.e., don't worry | paper letter
      And look you lay it in the praetor's chair,   praetor high-ranking magistrate | chair official seat
      Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this   may but find it can't help but find it | this Another
1.3.145      In at his window; set this up with wax   letter. | this A third letter. | set . . . up with wax We
      Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done,   would use a Post-it. | old Brutus >>>
      Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us.   Repair to proceed to
      Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?   
      All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone   
1.3.150      To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,   hie hurry
      And so bestow these papers as you bade me.   so . . . me place these letters exactly where you told
    me to
      That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.   repair to proceed to
      Exit CINNA   
      Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day   ere day before dawn
      See Brutus at his house: three parts of him   three parts three-quarters
1.3.155      Is ours already, and the man entire   the man . . . yields him ours i.e., the next time we talk
      Upon the next encounter yields him ours.   to him, Brutus will give himself up entirely to our
      O, he sits high in all the people's hearts:   
      And that which would appear offence in us,   would appear offence in us would look like a crime
      His countenance, like richest alchemy,    if we did it | countenance approval, trustworthy
1.3.160      Will change to virtue and to worthiness.    appearance | alchemy the supposed science of trans-
    muting any other metal into gold
      Him and his worth and our great need of him   
      You have right well conceited. Let us go,   conceited understood
      For it is after midnight; and ere day   ere day before dawn
      We will awake him and be sure of him.   be sure of him make sure we have him on our side