Book Notes Act III, Scene I Notes from Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I

Along the way to the Senate Caesar is pressed by members of the conspiracy, as well as by Mark Antony, to give priority to various cases during the morning session. It is the ides of March, March 15. When he arrives at the Senate, he sees the soothsayer again, and says to him, "the ides of March are come." Soothsayer: "Ay, Caesar, but not gone." Act III, Scene I, Line 1

Shortly after Caesar's exchange with the soothsayer, Metellus Cimber, a member of the conspiracy, bows before Caesar and asks him to pardon his brother, whom Caesar has banished from Rome. Meanwhile, Trebonius takes Antony away from the center of action, and other members of the conspiracy gather round Caesar, ostensibly to support Metellus Cimber in his request. Caesar refuses, describing himself as a strong, steady, and unmoving moral compass among men who sway back and forth according to what is popular: Caesar: "So in the world: 'tis furnish'd well with men, And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive; yet in the number I do know but one that unassailable holds on his rank, unshak'd of motion; and that I am he, let me a little show it, even in this, that I was constant Cimber should be banish'd, and constant do remain to keep him so." Act III, Scene I, Line 66 This is all the incitement the conspirators need, and they move to slay Caesar. Casca begins by stabbing him in the back of the neck, followed by the rest of the group, and, finally, by Marcus Brutus, who stabs him in the heart. As Caesar is stabbed, he says to Brutus, "Et tu, Brute? - Then fall Caesar!" Act III, Scene I, Line 77

This is especially poignant because some people believe that Brutus was Caesar's child - a result of an affair he had with Brutus' mother. However, it could just be that Caesar is astonished that Brutus, a trusted friend and general of his, has betrayed him so completely. The crowd and Senate members, in response to all the blood, panic and run from the arena as Marcus Brutus tries to calm them.

He asks Pubilus, an elderly senator who did not flee with the rest, to help him calm the crowd, then announces that the bloodshed is over, and gathers the conspirators together around the body of Caesar. They each cover their arms with Caesar's blood to mark them as members of the conspiracy. As the group prepares to set out triumphantly through Rome, one of Mark Antony's servants appears with a message of loyalty from Mark Antony. Brutus believes this statement of loyalty, but Cassius remains skeptical that this is in fact the case. Antony enters then, and expresses grief over the body of Caesar before approaching the conspirators to pledge his allegiance to the new leaders of Rome. He makes only one request: that he be allowed to bear Caesar's body to the center of Rome and make a eulogy for Caesar before the crowd. When Brutus agrees to this concession, Cassius takes him aside and expresses his worry that Antony may still do something to hurt the conspirators. Brutus brushes these concerns aside, saying that he will speak to the crowd first, explaining to them that he killed Caesar not out of vengeance, but out of a concern for the welfare of the citizens of Rome. The conspirators exit, and Antony falls over Caesar to express his grief. Afterwards, a servant of Octavius Caesar's enters, bidding news of his arrival. The boy is grieved by Caesar's death, and stays with Antony to find out how his speech at Caesar's funeral will go, and reports back to his master. Octavius is part of the Triumvir that was planning to rule all of the Roman Empire - Caesar was to be another member.

Topic Tracking: Excess 6
Topic Tracking: Dedication 8
Topic Tracking: Rush to Judgement 3

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