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 2, Scene 2

           Thunder and lightning. Enter JULIUS
           CAESAR, in his night-gown.

  1   Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight:
1. Nor . . . nor: Neither . . . nor.

  2   Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
  3   'Help, ho! they murder Caesar!' Who's within?
3. Who's within?: He's calling for whichever servant might be on duty.

           Enter a Servant.

  4   My lord?

  5   Go bid the priests do present sacrifice
  6   And bring me their opinions of success.
5-6. Go . . . success: Go tell the priests to immediately sacrifice an animal and—by examination of its entrails—report to me their opinion about future events.

  7   I will, my lord.


           Enter Calphurnia.

  8   What mean you, Caesar? think you to walk forth?
8. What mean you?: what do you intend to do?

  9   You shall not stir out of your house today.

 10   Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten'd me
10. shall forth: shall go forth.

 11   Ne'er look'd but on my back; when they shall see
 12   The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
10-12. the things . . . vanished: i.e., I can face down any threat.

 13   Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
13. stood on ceremonies: hesitated to do anything because of omens.

 14   Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
14. There is one within: there is someone inside who . . . .

 15   Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
 16   Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
16. the watch: the corps of night watchmen.

 17   A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
17. whelped: given birth.

 18   And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
18. yawn'd: opened wide.

 19   Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
 20   In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
20. right form of war: regular military formations.
Calphurnia pleads with Caesar.
"these things are beyond all use"

 21   Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
 22   The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
 23   Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
 24   And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
 25   O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,
25. beyond all use: beyond the boundaries of all usual experience.

 26   And I do fear them.

                                         What can be avoided
 27   Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
27. end is purposed: outcome is determined.

 28   Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
 29   Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
29. Are to: are as applicable to.

 30   When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
 31   The heavens themselves blaze forth the death
31. blaze forth: announce with a blaze of light.

       of princes.

 32   Cowards die many times before their deaths;
 33   The valiant never taste of death but once.
 34   Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
 35   It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
 36   Seeing that death, a necessary end,
 37   Will come when it will come.

           Enter a Servant.

                                                 What say the augurers?

 38   They would not have you to stir forth today.
 39   Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
39. Plucking . . . forth: pulling out.

 40   They could not find a heart within the beast.

 41   The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
41. in shame of cowardice: i.e., to teach us to be ashamed of cowardice.

 42   Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
 43   If he should stay at home today for fear.
 44   No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
 45   That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
 46   We are two lions litter'd in one day,
 47   And I the elder and more terrible:
 48   And Caesar shall go forth.

                                                Alas, my lord,
 49   Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
49. consumed in confidence: eaten up by overconfidence.

 50   Do not go forth today: call it my fear
 51   That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
 52   We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house:
 53   And he shall say you are not well today:
 54   Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.

 55   Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
 56   And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
56. for thy humour: because of your emotional state.

           Enter DECIUS.

 57   Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.

 58   Caesar, all hail! good morrow, worthy Caesar:
 59   I come to fetch you to the Senate-house.

 60   And you are come in very happy time,
60. in very happy time: at just the right moment.

 61   To bear my greeting to the senators
 62   And tell them that I will not come today:
 63   Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:
 64   I will not come today: tell them so, Decius.

 65   Say he is sick.

                          Shall Caesar send a lie?
 66   Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
 67   To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?
 68   Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.

 69   Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
 70   Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.

 71   The cause is in my will: I will not come;
 72   That is enough to satisfy the senate.
 73   But for your private satisfaction,
73. for your private satisfaction: to satisfy your personal curiosity.

 74   Because I love you, I will let you know:
 75   Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
75. stays: keeps, detains.

 76   She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,
76. to-night: the night just past.

 77   Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
 78   Did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans
78. lusty: lively, joyful.

 79   Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:
 80   And these does she apply for warnings, and portents,
80. apply for: interpret as.

 81   And evils imminent; and on her knee
 82   Hath begg'd that I will stay at home today.

 83   This dream is all amiss interpreted;
83. all amiss interpreted: completely misinterpreted.

 84   It was a vision fair and fortunate:
 85   Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
 86   In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
 87   Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
 88   Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
 89   For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.
88-89. great . . . cognizance: i.e., great men will beg for anything that will show they are followers of Caesar. >>>

 90   This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.

 91   And this way have you well expounded it.

 92   I have, when you have heard what I can say:
92. I . . . say: i.e., I will have expounded well when you have heard and understood everything I can say on this subject.

 93   And know it now: the senate have concluded
93. And know it now: i.e., And now you will know, by what I am about to tell you, that the Romans are devoted to you.

 94   To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
 95   If you shall send them word you will not come,
 96   Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
 97   Apt to be render'd, for some one to say
96-97. mock . . . render'd: a sarcastic comment likely to be made.

 98   'Break up the senate till another time,
 99   When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.'
99. shall meet with better dreams: happens to have better dreams.

100   If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper
101   'Lo, Caesar is afraid'?
102   Pardon me, Caesar; for my dear dear love
103   To our proceeding bids me tell you this;
103. our proceeding: the advancement of our cause.

104   And reason to my love is liable.
104. reason to my love is liable: reason must pay its debt to love; in other words, "reason tells me that you might not like to hear what I have to say, but I am saying it anyway because I love you so much."

105   How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia!
106   I am ashamed I did yield to them.
107   Give me my robe, for I will go.
107. my robe: i.e., the toga he wears to the senate.

Caesar Augustus in a toga
"my robe"


108   And look where Publius is come to fetch me.

109   Good morrow, Caesar.

                                          Welcome, Publius.
110   What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too?
111   Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,
112   Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy
113   As that same ague which hath made you lean.
113. that same ague: that chronic disease that everyone knows you have. (In the previous scene Ligarius entered wearing a kerchief, indicating that he was sick; maybe he is still wearing it.)

114   What is 't o'clock?

                                      Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.

115   I thank you for your pains and courtesy.

           Enter ANTONY.

116   See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,
116. revels: parties hard.

117   Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.

118   So to most noble Caesar.

                                            Bid them prepare within:
118. Bid them prepare within: This is addressed to a servant, who is supposed to go tell other servants to prepare for Caesar's departure.

119   I am to blame to be thus waited for.
120   Now, Cinna: now, Metellus: what, Trebonius!
121   I have an hour's talk in store for you;
122   Remember that you call on me today:
123   Be near me, that I may remember you.

124   Caesar, I will:


                                and so near will I be,
125   That your best friends shall wish I had been further.

126   Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;
127   And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
127. like friends: as friends do. Caesar does not suspect that these men are his enemies.

      BRUTUS [Aside.]
128   That every like is not the same, O Caesar,
128. every like is not the same: This proverb means that not everything is what it seems to be.

129   The heart of Brutus earns to think upon!
129. earns: grieves.