Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 2
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Alarum: notes on a bugle or horn; a call to arms. This older form of "alarm" is common in Shakespeare. See opening of Scene 3.
1. bills: notes, dispatches. This is the word used by Plutarch in the "Life of Brutus."
2. on the other side. That is, on the left wing which was commanded by Cassius.
4. cold demeanor: a lifeless, indifferent manner.
How to cite the explanatory notes and scene questions:
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1919. Shakespeare Online. 26 Feb. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/julius_5_2.html >.
"Brutus is one of the noblest and most consistent of Shakespearean creations; a man far above all self-seeking and capable of the loftiest patriotism; in whose whole bearing, as in his deepest nature, virtue wears her noblest aspect. But Brutus is an idealist, with a touch of the doctrinaire; his purposes are of the highest, but the means he employs to give those purposes effect are utterly inadequate; in a lofty spirit he embarks on an enterprise doomed to failure by the very temper and pressure of the age. "Julius Caesar" is the tragedy of the conflict between a great nature, denied the sense of reality, and the world-spirit. Brutus is not only crushed, but recognizes that there was no other issue of his untimely endeavour." (Hamilton Mabie. William Shakespeare, Poet, Dramatist, and Man. p, 298.)