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 3, Scene 2



           Enter BRUTUS and CASSIUS
           with the PLEBEIANS.

      Plebeians
  1   We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
1. be satisfied: get a satisfactory explanation.


      BRUTUS
  2   Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
2. audience: a hearing.

  3   Cassius, go you into the other street,
  4   And part the numbers.
4. part the numbers: divide the crowd.

  5   Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
  6   Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
  7   And public reasons shall be rendered
  8   Of Caesar's death.

      First Plebeian
                                   I will hear Brutus speak.

      Second Plebeian
  9   I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
 10   When severally we hear them rendered.
10. severally: separately.


           [Exit CASSIUS, with some of the Plebeians.
           BRUTUS] goes into the pulpit.

      Third Plebeian
 11   The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!

      BRUTUS
 12   Be patient till the last.
12. Be patient till the last: hear me out.

 13   Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my
13. lovers: dear friends.

 14   cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me
13-14. hear . . . hear: hear me out because this important, and be silent, so that you can hear my words. >>>

 15   for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour,
 16   that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom,
14-16. believe . . . believe: do me the honor of believing me and bear in mind my honorable reputation, so that you can believe me.  censure: judge.

 17   and awake your senses, that you may the better judge.
 18   If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of
 19   Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar
 20   was no less than his. If then that friend demand
 21   why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
 22   —Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
 23   Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
 24   die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
 25   all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
 26   as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
 27   valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious,
 28   I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his
 29   fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his
 30   ambition. Who is here so base that would be a
 31   bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended.
31. bondman: slave.  offended: wronged.

 32   Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman?
32. rude: barbarous, stupid.

 33   If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here
 34   so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak;
 35   for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.

      All
 36   None, Brutus, none.

      BRUTUS
 37   Then none have I offended. I have done no more to
37-38. I . . . Brutus: I have done to Caesar no more than what you will do to me (if I do the wrongs that Caesar has done).

 38   Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of
38-39. the question . . . enrolled: The justification of his death is on record.

 39   his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not
 40   extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences
40. extenuated: minimized.

 41   enforced, for which he suffered death.
41. enforced: overemphasized.


           Enter MARK ANTONY [and others],
            with CAESAR's body.

 42   Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who,
 43   though he had no hand in his death, shall receive
 44   the benefit of his dying, a place in the
 45   commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this
 46   I depart,—that, as I slew my best lover for the
46. best lover: dearest friend.

 47   good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself,
 48   when it shall please my country to need my death.

      All
 49   Live, Brutus! live, live!

      First Plebeian
 50   Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

      Second Plebeian
 51   Give him a statue with his ancestors.

      Third Plebeian
 52   Let him be Caesar.

      Fourth Plebeian
                                    Caesar's better parts
52. parts: qualities.

 53   Shall be crown'd in Brutus.

      First Plebeian
                                 We'll bring him to his house
 54   With shouts and clamours.

      BRUTUS
                                               My countrymen,—

      Second Plebeian
 55   Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.

      First Plebeian
                                                     Peace, ho!

      BRUTUS
 56   Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
 57   And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:
 58   Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech
58. Do grace . . . and grace his speech: pay respect to Caesar and listen courteously to Antony's speech.

 59   Tending to Caesar's glories; which Mark Antony,
59. Tending to: concerning, praising.

 60   By our permission, is allow'd to make.
 61   I do entreat you, not a man depart,
 62   Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.

           Exit.

      First Plebeian
 63   Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.

      Third Plebeian
 64   Let him go up into the public chair;
 65   We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.

      ANTONY
 66   For Brutus' sake, I am beholding to you.
66. beholding to you: indebted to you.


           Goes into the pulpit.

      Fourth Plebeian
 67   What does he say of Brutus?

      Third Plebeian
                                                 He says, for Brutus' sake,
 68   He finds himself beholding to us all.

      Fourth Plebeian
 69   'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.

      First Plebeian
 70   This Caesar was a tyrant.

      Third Plebeian
                                               Nay, that's certain:
 71   We are blest that Rome is rid of him.

      Second Plebeian
 72   Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.

      ANTONY
 73   You gentle Romans,—

      Plebeians
                                     Peace, ho! let us hear him.

      ANTONY
 74   Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
74. lend me your ears: i.e., grant me your attention for a moment.

 75   I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
 76   The evil that men do lives after them;
 77   The good is oft interred with their bones;
77. oft interred: often buried.

 78   So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
 79   Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
 80   If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
 81   And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
81. answer'd it: paid for it.

 82   Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest—
82. under leave of: by permission of.

 83   For Brutus is an honourable man;
 84   So are they all, all honourable men—
 85   Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
 86   He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
 87   But Brutus says he was ambitious;
 88   And Brutus is an honourable man.
 89   He hath brought many captives home to Rome
 90   Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
90. general coffers: public treasury.

 91   Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
 92   When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
 93   Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
 94   Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
 95   And Brutus is an honourable man.
 96   You all did see that on the Lupercal
 97   I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
97. I thrice presented him a kingly crown: See Casca's account of this, beginning at 1.2.221

 98   Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
 99   Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
100   And, sure, he is an honourable man.
101   I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
102   But here I am to speak what I do know.
103   You all did love him once, not without cause:
104   What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
105   O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
105. judgment: the ability to come to reasonable conclusions based on the evidence.

106   And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
107   My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
108   And I must pause till it come back to me.

      First Plebeian
109   Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

      Second Plebeian
110   If thou consider rightly of the matter,
111   Caesar has had great wrong.

      Third Plebeian
                                                   Has he, masters?
112   I fear there will a worse come in his place.
112. I . . . place: I'm afraid that he will be succeeded by someone worse.


      Fourth Plebeian
113   Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
114   Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.

      First Plebeian
115   If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
115. some . . . dear abide it: some people will pay dearly for it.


      Second Plebeian
116   Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

      Third Plebeian
117   There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

      Fourth Plebeian
118   Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

      ANTONY
119   But yesterday the word of Caesar might
120   Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
121   And none so poor to do him reverence.
121. none . . . reverence: no one is so lowly that he needs to kneel to him.

122   O masters, if I were disposed to stir
123   Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
123. mutiny: riot, rebellion.

124   I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
125   Who, you all know, are honourable men:
126   I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
127   To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
128   Than I will wrong such honourable men.
129   But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
130   I found it in his closet, 'tis his will:
130. closet: study, private room.

131   Let but the commons hear this testament—
131. the commons: the common people.

132   Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—
133   And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds
134   And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
134. napkins: handkerchiefs.

135   Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
136   And, dying, mention it within their wills,
137   Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
138   Unto their issue.
138. issue: children.


      Fourth Plebeian
139   We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.

      All
140   The will, the will! we will hear Caesar's will.

      ANTONY
141   Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
142   It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
142. meet: fitting.

143   You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
144   And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
145   It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
146   'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
147   For, if you should, O, what would come of it!

      Fourth Plebeian
148   Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony;
149   You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.

      ANTONY
150   Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
151   I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
151. have o'ershot myself: said more than I have should have.

152   I fear I wrong the honourable men
153   Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.
The WILL, by H.C. Selous
"The will! the testament!"

      Fourth Plebeian
154   They were traitors: honourable men!

      All
155   The will! the testament!

      Second Plebeian
156   They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.

      ANTONY
157   You will compel me, then, to read the will?
158   Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
159   And let me show you him that made the will.
160   Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?

      Several Plebeians
161   Come down.

      Second Plebeian
162   Descend.

      Third Plebeian
163   You shall have leave.

           [ANTONY comes down from the pulpit.]

      Fourth Plebeian
164   A ring; stand round.

      First Plebeian
165   Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
165. from: away from.  hearse: bier.


      Second Plebeian
166   Room for Antony, most noble Antony.

      ANTONY
167   Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.

      Several Plebeians
168   Stand back; room; bear back.
168. room: make room.  bear move.


      ANTONY
169   If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
170   You all do know this mantle: I remember
170. mantle: cloak.

171   The first time ever Caesar put it on;
172   'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
173   That day he overcame the Nervii:
173. the Nervii: a Belgian tribe.

174   Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
175   See what a rent the envious Casca made:
175. rent: gash.  envious: spiteful.

176   Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
177   And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
177. pluck'd: jerked.  steel: dagger.

178   Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,
179   As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
179. As: as if.  to be resolved: to find out for sure.

180   If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
180. unkindly: cruelly and unnaturally.

181   For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
181. angel: best beloved.

182   Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
182. dearly: dearly; at great expense.

183   This was the most unkindest cut of all;
182. most unkindest: —In Shakespeare's time there wasn't no rule about no double negatives nor nothing like that.

184   For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
185   Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
186   Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
187   And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
187. in his mantle muffling up his face: as he covered his face with his cloak.

188   Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
189   Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
189. Which all the while ran blood: I don't think it is meant that the statue bled, only that it was dripping with Caesar's blood.

190   O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
191   Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
192   Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
192. flourish'd over us: celebrated its triumph over us; waved its weapons.

193   O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
194   The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
194. dint: painful sense.  gracious drops: tears of honor.

195   Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
196   Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
196. vesture: garment.


           [ANTONY lifts Caesar's mantle.]

197   seventy-five drachmas.
197. marr'd: marred, disfigured:  with: by.

Mark Antony showing Caesar's wounds
"Here he is himself marr'd, as you see, with traitors"


      First Plebeian
198   O piteous spectacle!

      Second Plebeian
199   O noble Caesar!

      Third Plebeian
200   O woeful day!

      Fourth Plebeian
201   O traitors, villains!

      First Plebeian
202   O most bloody sight!

      Second Plebeian
203   We will be revenged.

      All
204   Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
204. About!: let's do it now!

205   Let not a traitor live!

      ANTONY
206   Stay, countrymen.
206. Stay: wait a minute.


      First Plebeian
207   Peace there! hear the noble Antony.
207. Peace there!: shut up, back there!


      Second Plebeian
208   We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.

      ANTONY
209   Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
210   To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
210. mutiny: rebellion, riot.

211   They that have done this deed are honourable:
212   What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
212. private griefs: personal grievances.

213   That made them do it: they are wise and honourable,
214   And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
215   I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
216   I am no orator, as Brutus is;
217   But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
218   That love my friend; and that they know full well
219   That gave me public leave to speak of him:
220   For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
221   Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
220-221. wit . . . utterance: intelligence, vocabulary, reputation, eloquent gestures, polished delivery.

222   To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;
222. speak right on: i.e., say what I really think.

223   I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
224   Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor poor
      dumb mouths,
224. dumb: silent.

225   And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
226   And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
227   Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue
227. ruffle up your spirits: raise your hackles.

228   In every wound of Caesar that should move
227. move: provoke.

229   The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
229. mutiny: rebel, riot.


      All
230   We'll mutiny.

      First Plebeian
                             We'll burn the house of Brutus.

      Third Plebeian
231   Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.

      ANTONY
232   Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.

      All
233   Peace, ho! Hear Antony. Most noble Antony!

      ANTONY
234   Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:
235   Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
236   Alas, you know not: I must tell you then:
237   You have forgot the will I told you of.

      All
238   Most true. The will! Let's stay and hear the will.

      ANTONY
239   Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.
239. under Caesar's seal: i.e., authenticated by Caesar. >>>

240   To every Roman Plebeian he gives,
241   To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
241. several: individual.  drachmas: silver coins. >>>


      Second Plebeian
242   Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death.

      Third Plebeian
243   O royal Caesar!

      ANTONY
244   Hear me with patience.

      All
245   Peace, ho!

      ANTONY
246   Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
247   His private arbours and new-planted orchards,
248   On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
249   And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,
249. common pleasures: i.e., public parks.

250   To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
251   Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?

      First Plebeian
252   Never, never. Come, away, away!
253   We'll burn his body in the holy place,
254   And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
254. the brands: the torches used to light the funeral pyre.  fire: set fire to.

255   Take up the body.

      Second Plebeian
256   Go fetch fire.

      Third Plebeian
257   Pluck down benches.
257. Pluck down: tear to pieces.


      Fourth Plebeian
258   Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
258. forms: benches without backs.  windows: shutters.  any thing: i.e., anything that we can use to start a fire.


           Exeunt Plebeians [with the body].

      ANTONY
259   Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
259. Mischief: evildoing, wickedness.

260   Take thou what course thou wilt!

           Enter Servant.

                                                 How now, fellow!

      Servant
261   Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.

      ANTONY
262   Where is he?

      Servant
263   He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house.

      ANTONY
264   And thither will I straight to visit him:
264. straight: immediately.

265   He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
265. He comes upon a wish: i.e., Octavius has arrived at the exact moment that I wished he would.  is merry: i.e., is smiling upon me.

266   And in this mood will give us any thing.

      Servant
267   I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius
268   Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
268. Are rid: have ridden.


      ANTONY
269   Belike they had some notice of the people,
270   How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.
269-270. Belike . . . them: i.e., It's likely they received news of how my speech made the people angry at them.


           Exeunt.