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|ACT V SCENE III ||Another part of the field.|| |
| ||Alarums. Enter CASSIUS and TITINIUS.|| |
|CASSIUS ||O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly!|| |
| ||Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy:|| |
| ||This ensign here of mine was turning back;|| |
| ||I slew the coward, and did take it from him.|
|TITINIUS ||O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early;|| 5|| |
| ||Who, having some advantage on Octavius,|| |
| ||Took it too eagerly: his soldiers fell to spoil,|| |
| ||Whilst we by Antony are all enclosed.|| |
| ||Enter PINDARUS.|| |
|PINDARUS ||Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;|
| ||Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord|| 10|| |
| ||Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.|| |
|CASSIUS ||This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius;|| |
| ||Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?|| |
|TITINIUS ||They are, my lord.|
|CASSIUS ||Titinius, if thou lovest me,|| 15|| |
| ||Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him,|| |
| ||Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops,|| |
| ||And here again; that I may rest assured|
| ||Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.|
|TITINIUS ||I will be here again, even with a thought.|| |
| ||Exit|| |
|CASSIUS ||Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;|| 20|| |
| ||My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius,|| |
| ||And tell me what thou notest about the field.|| |
| ||PINDARUS ascends the hill.|| |
| ||This day I breathed first: time is come round,|
| ||And where I did begin, there shall I end;|| |
| ||My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news?|| 25|| |
|PINDARUS ||Above|| |
|CASSIUS ||What news?|| |
|PINDARUS ||Above|| |
| ||With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;|| |
| ||Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him.|| 30|
| ||Now, Titinius! Now some light. O, he lights too.|| |
| ||He's ta'en.|| |
| ||Shout|| |
| ||And, hark! they shout for joy.|| |
|CASSIUS ||Come down, behold no more.|| |
| ||O, coward that I am, to live so long,|
| ||To see my best friend ta'en before my face!|| 35|| |
| ||PINDARUS descends.|| |
| ||Come hither, sirrah:|| |
| ||In Parthia did I take thee prisoner;|| |
| ||And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,|| |
| ||That whatsoever I did bid thee do,|
| ||Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath;|| 40|| |
| ||Now be a freeman: and with this good sword,|| |
| ||That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom.|| |
| ||Stand not to answer: here, take thou the hilts;|| |
| ||And, when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now,|
| ||Guide thou the sword.|| |
| ||PINDARUS stabs him.|| |
| ||Caesar, thou art revenged,|| 45|| |
| ||Even with the sword that kill'd thee.|| |
| ||Dies|| |
|PINDARUS ||So, I am free; yet would not so have been,|| |
| ||Durst I have done my will. O Cassius,|
| ||Far from this country Pindarus shall run,|| 49|| |
| ||Where never Roman shall take note of him.|| |
| ||Exit|| |
| ||Re-enter TITINIUS with MESSALA.|| |
|MESSALA ||It is but change, Titinius; for Octavius|| |
| ||Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power,|| |
| ||As Cassius' legions are by Antony.|
|TITINIUS ||These tidings will well comfort Cassius.|| |
|MESSALA ||Where did you leave him?|| |
|TITINIUS ||All disconsolate,|| 55|| |
| ||With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill.|| |
|MESSALA ||Is not that he that lies upon the ground?|
|TITINIUS ||He lies not like the living. O my heart!|| |
|MESSALA ||Is not that he?|| |
|TITINIUS ||No, this was he, Messala,|| |
| ||But Cassius is no more. O setting sun,|| 60|| |
| ||As in thy red rays thou dost sink to-night,|
| ||So in his red blood Cassius' day is set;|| |
| ||The sun of Rome is set! Our day is gone;|| |
| ||Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done!|| |
| ||Mistrust of my success hath done this deed.|| 65|| |
|MESSALA ||Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.|
| ||O hateful error, melancholy's child,|| |
| ||Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men|| |
| ||The things that are not? O error, soon conceived,|| |
| ||Thou never comest unto a happy birth,|| 70|| |
| ||But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee!|
|TITINIUS ||What, Pindarus! where art thou, Pindarus?|| |
|MESSALA ||Seek him, Titinius, whilst I go to meet|| |
| ||The noble Brutus, thrusting this report|| |
| ||Into his ears; I may say, thrusting it;|| 75|| |
| ||For piercing steel and darts envenomed|
| ||Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus|| |
| ||As tidings of this sight.|| |
|TITINIUS ||Hie you, Messala,|| |
| ||And I will seek for Pindarus the while.|| |
| ||Exit MESSALA.|| |
| ||Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius?|| 80|
| ||Did I not meet thy friends? and did not they|| |
| ||Put on my brows this wreath of victory,|| |
| ||And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts?|| |
| ||Alas, thou hast misconstrued every thing!|| |
| ||But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow;|| 85|
| ||Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I|| |
| ||Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace,|| |
| ||And see how I regarded Caius Cassius.|| |
| ||By your leave, gods:--this is a Roman's part|| |
| ||Come, Cassius' sword, and find Titinius' heart.|
| ||Kills himself.|| |
| ||Alarum. Re-enter MESSALA, with BRUTUS, CATO, STRATO, VOLUMNIUS, and LUCILIUS.|| |
|BRUTUS ||Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie?|| |
|MESSALA ||Lo, yonder, and Titinius mourning it.|| |
|BRUTUS ||Titinius' face is upward.|| |
|CATO ||He is slain.|| |
|BRUTUS ||O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!|
| ||Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords|| 95|| |
| ||In our own proper entrails.|| |
| ||Low alarums.|| |
|CATO ||Brave Titinius!|| |
| ||Look, whether he have not crown'd dead Cassius!|| |
|BRUTUS ||Are yet two Romans living such as these?|
| ||The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!|| |
| ||It is impossible that ever Rome|| 100|| |
| ||Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more tears|| |
| ||To this dead man than you shall see me pay.|| |
| ||I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time.|
| ||Come, therefore, and to Thasos send his body:|| |
| ||His funerals shall not be in our camp,|| 105|| |
| ||Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come;|| |
| ||And come, young Cato; let us to the field.|| |
| ||Labeo and Flavius, set our battles on:|
| ||'Tis three o'clock; and, Romans, yet ere night|| 109|| |
| ||We shall try fortune in a second fight.|| |
| ||Exeunt|| |
Next: Julius Caesar, Act 5, Scene 4
Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 3
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
2. to my own. That is, to one of my own army, -- the standard-bearer referred to in the next lines.
4. it: the standard. The word "ensign" was used then, as it is today, both for the flag and the man who carried it. Here Cassius uses the word with both meanings in the same sentence.
7. Took it too eagerly: followed up too eagerly the advantage which he gained over Octavius. fell to spoil: went to work plundering. According to Plutarch, whom Shakespeare follows closely here, Cassius was "marvellous angry to see how Brutus' men ran to give charge upon their Enemies, and tarried not for the word of the Battell, nor commandment to give charge: and it grieved him beside, that after he had overcome them, his men fell straight to spoil, and were not careful to compass in the rest of the Enemies behind." It was against Cassius'
best judgment that Brutus was given command of the right wing, a concession which this time leads to fatal consequences.
18. yond: yonder. Where did Caesar say,
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look?
19. with a thought: as quick as thought; "in the twinkling of an eye."
21. My sight was ever thick. Plutarch's words are, "Howbeit, Cassius himself saw nothing, for his sight was very bad, saving that he saw (and yet with much ado) how the Enemies spoiled his Camp before his eyes."
Pindarus ascends the hill. Here probably Pindarus went up
to the balcony over the inner stage.
25. My life is run his compass. In the words of Macbeth,
I have lived long enough; my way of life
31. light: alight, dismount.
Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf.
38. I swore thee, saving of thy life: I made thee swear when I saved thy life, -- or spared thee.
42. search: pierce, probe.
43. hilts. A common use in Shakespeare, where we should
say "hilt" for the handle of a sword.
61. It is but change. The battle is an interchange of victory
66. Mistrust of good success: doubt as to the issue. In Shakespeare's time the word "success" often meant simply "outcome," "issue," and thus needed a qualifying adjective such as "good" here. So Caesar said,
Go bid the priests do present sacrifice.
68. the apt thoughts: the impressionable, receptive thoughts.
And bring me their opinions of success.
(II, 2, 6.)
70. happy: fortunate.
86. bid. Shakespeare often uses this form, as well as bade, for the past tense of "bid." Cf. "that tongue that bade the Romans mark him." (1, 2, 125-126.)
88. regarded: esteemed, reverenced.
94. Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet, etc. Hudson remarks on this passage, "Brutus here strikes the proper keynote of the play." He then quotes Froude: "The murderers of Caesar, . . . such of them as were in Italy were immediately killed. Those in the provinces, as if with the curse of Cain upon their heads, came one by one to miserable ends. In three years the tyrannicides of the Ides of March, with their aides and abettors, were all dead; some killed in battle, some in prison, some dying by their own hand." Remember, too, Antony's prophecy over Caesar's body in Act III:
A curse will light upon the limbs of men;
96. In our own proper entrails: into our own entrails.
"Proper" simply emphasizes "own."
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war.
97. whether. Here a word of one syllable, probably pronounced "whe'r," as in I, I, 62:
See, whether their basest metal be not moved.
101. fellow: equal counterpart. moe: more, -- an old comparative of "many." Do you remember where Lucius says, "No, sir, there are moe with him"?
104. Thasos. An island in the Aegean sea off the coast of Thrace where, according to Plutarch, Cassius was buried.
105. funerals. Although we use this word today in the singular form, we still speak of nuptials.
108. set our battles on: move forward our army; advance our line.
109. ere night. This second battle in reality did not take place for twenty days. Why does Shakespeare transfer it to the day of the first conflict? Does this change seem justifiable to you?
How to cite the explanatory notes and scene questions:
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1919. Shakespeare Online. 15 May. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/julius_5_3.html >.
MacCallum, M. W. Shakespeare's Roman Plays and Their Background. London: Macmillan, 1910.
Scene Questions for Review
1. Explain, after reading page 173, how probably in Shakespeare's time this scene of Pindarus on the hill was acted.
2. Why did Cassius kill himself? What has he said about suicide earlier in the play?
3. Explain the actions of Titinius, as you understand them. What caused Cassius to "misconstrue everything"?
4. What does Titinius mean by exclaiming, just before he stabs himself, "This is a Roman's part"?
5. Explain and comment upon Brutus' words upon finding the body of Cassius, "O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!"
6. Compare Brutus' words and constrained feelings here with his manner upon hearing of Portia's death.
7. Do you admire Cassius in this scene? Has he risen or fallen in your estimation since the beginning of the play? Discuss in detail.
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