Act III, Scene II Notes from Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar Act III, Scene II

Brutus gives his speech, with his reasons for killing Caesar: "If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." Act III, Scene II, Line 18 He then leaves as Antony begins to speak. Antony proceeds to incite the crowd against Brutus and his co-conspirators with irony and mockery by saying, "The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Caesar answer'd it. Here under leave of Brutus and the rest (for Brutus is an honorable man, so are they all, all honorable men) come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me; but Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome, whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and sure he is an honorable man....I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know." Act III, Scene II, Line 79

Although Antony is speaking against Brutus and his group, he makes a point of pretending to honor them: "O Masters! If I were dispos'd to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, who, you all know, are honorable men. I will not do them wrong..." Act III, Scene II, Line 123 He even goes as far as to insult the co-conspirators, and claim that they killed Caesar out of jealousy: "They that have done this deed are honorable. What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, that made them do it. They are wise and honorable, and will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts. I am no orator, as Brutus is, but (as you know me all) a plain blunt man, that love my friend; and that they know full well that gave me public leave to speak of him." Act III, Scene II, Line 214

In the end, he pulls out Caesar's Will, which bequeaths all of Caesar's private gardens and walkways to the people of Rome. This is the final straw against the conspirators because it proves to the commoners that Caesar would have been a just ruler, and not at all ambitious, which is exactly why Brutus said he killed him.

Topic Tracking: Excess 7

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