Julius Caesar Act 2 Scene 3 - Artemidorus read the letter
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Julius Caesar

Please see the bottom of the page for full explanatory notes and helpful resources.

ACT II SCENE III A street near the Capitol. 
 Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a paper. 
ARTEMIDORUS 'Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; 
 come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna, trust not 
 Trebonius: mark well Metellus Cimber: Decius Brutus 
 loves thee not: thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. 5
 There is but one mind in all these men, and it is 
 bent against Caesar. If thou beest not immortal, 
 look about you: security gives way to conspiracy. 
 The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover, 
 Here will I stand till Caesar pass along, 
 And as a suitor will I give him this. 
 My heart laments that virtue cannot live 
 Out of the teeth of emulation. 
 If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayst live; 15
 If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive. 

Next: Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 4


Explanatory Notes for Act 2, Scene 3
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.



Scene 3

7. security gives way to. Over-confidence makes a way for conspiracy. Have we seen anything to show that Caesar was wholly confident of his own security?

8. lover: friend, -- as frequently in Shakespeare. So later Brutus calls the citizens "Romans, countrymen, and lovers!" and in "The Merchant" Lorenzo speaks of Antonio as "a lover" of Bassanio.

12. Out of the teeth of emulation: safe from the teeth of jealousy; "free from the attacks of envy."

14. contrive: conspire, plot.

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_2_3.html >.

Scene Questions for Review

microsoft images 1. Of what incidents earlier in the play does this scene remind you?

2. Why do you think this short scene is often omitted when presenting the play today?

3. Do you see any good reason for having the warning written in prose, but the words of Artemidorus that follow in verse?

4. Describe Artemidorus as you imagine his appearance and dress.


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