Julius Caesar Act 4 Scene 2 - Lucilius returns from a meeting with Cassius' troops
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Julius Caesar

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

ACT IV SCENE II Camp near Sardis. Before BRUTUS's tent. 
 Drum. Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, LUCIUS, and Soldiers; TITINIUS and PINDARUS meeting them. 
BRUTUS Stand, ho! 
LUCILIUS Give the word, ho! and stand. 
BRUTUS What now, Lucilius! is Cassius near? 
LUCILIUS He is at hand; and Pindarus is come
 To do you salutation from his master. 5 
BRUTUS He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus, 
 In his own change, or by ill officers, 
 Hath given me some worthy cause to wish 
 Things done, undone: but, if he be at hand,
 I shall be satisfied. 
PINDARUS I do not doubt 10 
 But that my noble master will appear 
 Such as he is, full of regard and honour. 
BRUTUS He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius;
 How he received you, let me be resolved. 
LUCILIUS With courtesy and with respect enough; 15 
 But not with such familiar instances, 
 Nor with such free and friendly conference,

 As he hath used of old.
BRUTUS Thou hast described 
 A hot friend cooling: ever note, Lucilius, 
 When love begins to sicken and decay, 20 
 It useth an enforced ceremony. 
 There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
 But hollow men, like horses hot at hand, 
 Make gallant show and promise of their mettle; 
 But when they should endure the bloody spur, 25 
 They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades, 
 Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?
LUCILIUS They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd; 
 The greater part, the horse in general, 
 Are come with Cassius. 
BRUTUS Hark! he is arrived. 30 
 Low march within 
 March gently on to meet him.
 Enter CASSIUS and his powers. 
CASSIUS Stand, ho! 
BRUTUS Stand, ho! Speak the word along. 
First Soldier Stand! 
Second Soldier Stand! 35 
Third Soldier Stand!
CASSIUS Most noble brother, you have done me wrong. 
BRUTUS Judge me, you gods! wrong I mine enemies? 
 And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother? 
CASSIUS Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs; 
 And when you do them--
BRUTUS Cassius, be content. 41 
 Speak your griefs softly: I do know you well. 
 Before the eyes of both our armies here, 
 Which should perceive nothing but love from us, 
 Let us not wrangle: bid them move away;
 Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs, 
 And I will give you audience. 
CASSIUS Pindarus, 
 Bid our commanders lead their charges off 
 A little from this ground.
BRUTUS Lucilius, do you the like; and let no man 50 
 Come to our tent till we have done our conference. 
 Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door. 

Next: Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3


Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 2
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.



Scene 2

Historically this scene takes place nearly a year after the meeting between Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus. The remaining events of the play occur in the autumn of 42 B.C., about two years and a half after the feast of the Lupercalia in 44, when the action of the drama began.

Sardis. An ancient city of Asia Minor, the capital of Lydia. The account of the action about Sardis, and the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius, is taken with but slight change from Plutarch.

5. To do you salutation: to salute you. So in "Richard III," "The early village cock hath twice done salutation to the morn," and similarly we have had already in this play "none too poor to do him reverence," and "Do grace to Caesar's corse."

6. He greets me well. That is, his greeting finds me well, or possibly "his greeting is friendly."

7. In his own change, etc. By a change of his feelings toward me, or through the misconduct of his officers.

12. full of regard: full of qualities worthy of esteem, as in III, I, 225, "Our reasons are so full of good regard."

14. How: as to how, -- as often in Shakespeare. resolved: informed.

16. familiar instances: instances or examples of familiarity; "assurances of friendship."

21. enforced ceremony: artificial courtesy.

23. hot at hand: restless, spirited when held in check. Notice that the figure from horsemanship continues through the four lines following.

26. fall their crests: let fall, lower their crests -- that is lose their courage, are crestfallen. jades: old, worn-out, worthless horses; nags. [Used over twenty times in Shakespeare's works.]

40. sober: serious.

41. be content: contain, restrain yourself; be calm.

46. enlarge your griefs: set forth your grievances at large or fully.

48. charges: troops under their charge, or command.


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_4_2.html >.

Scene Questions for Review

microsoft images 1. What do you imagine has been taking place since Brutus and Cassius were driven from Rome?

2. In what way does Brutus here remind you of Brutus the conspirator?

3. Does it seem more natural for Brutus than for Cassius to suggest that they conceal their quarrel from the soldiers? Why?

4. Is this scene necessary to the development of the plot? What would be lost were it omitted on the stage?

5. Has your interest in the play begun to flag now that Caesar is dead?


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Just Who is the Hero?... "In ordinary times of civil repose, we should say of Brutus, what a noble citizen! No one could be more ready to fulfil his duties to his family, his fellow-men, and his country. But it must be recollected that these duties were the prescribed usages, customs, and beliefs, of his nation; they were given to him, transmitted from his ancestors. But when prescription no longer points out the way, such a man must fall, for he has no intellectual basis of action. Still the morality of mankind in general is prescriptive, and does not rest upon rational insight; they follow the footsteps of their fathers. Hence it is that most people think that Brutus is the real hero of the play, and that it is wrongly named. But this was certainly not Shakespeare's design, for it was very easy to construct a drama in which Brutus should appear as triumphant, by having it terminate at the assassination of Caesar with a grand flourish of daggers, frantic proclamations of liberty, and "sic semper tyrannis." Shakespeare, however, takes special pains not to do any such thing, but to show the triumph of Caesar's thought in the destruction of the conspirators." (J. D. Snider) Read on...


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