Line to Line Explanation of Julius Caesar

By | March 3, 2018

Line to Line Explanation of the Play Julius Caesar-

Act II Scene II                                                                                                                                    

Caesar’s house.                                                                                                                                               

Thunder and lightning- Enter CAESAR in his night-gown

CAESAR Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:

Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,                                                                                       

‘Help, ho! they murder Caesar!’ Who’s within?                                                                                  

Enter a servant

SERVANT – My lord?


The very first scene of the play gives the insight of what is going to take place. Caesar is worried. He talks to himself. There had been great upheaval yester night as Calpurnia had had a bad dream and in her sleep she cried thrice ‘Help, ho! they murder Caesar!’ Just then a servant comes in.

CAESAR Go bid the priest do present sacrifice and bring me their opinions of success.  

SERVANT I will, my lord                                                                                                              



 Caesar asks his servant to tell the Priest to present sacrifice of a beast before the alter and try to know what do they think about success.

CALPURNIA What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?                                                                               

You shall not stir out of your house to-day.


Calpurnia asks Caesar if he is going out. She warns him not to leave the house as there may be a threat to his life.

CAESAR Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten’d me                                                             

Ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see                                                                                                                               The face of Caesar, they are vanished.


Caesar does not pay heed to Calpurnia’s advice. He says that he will definitely go. He is not afraid of the threats. Threats would disappear when he confronts them.

CALPURNIA Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,                                                                                          

 Yet now they fright me. There is one within,                                                                                     

 Besides the things that we have heard and seen,                                                                           

Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.                                                                               

A lioness hath whelped in the streets;                                                                                                                                                      And graves have yawn’d, and yielded up their dead;                                                                               

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,                                                                                                     

 In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,                                                                 

 Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;                                                                                                                                

The noise of battle hurtled in the air,                                                                                                     

Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,                                                                        

And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.                                                                       

O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,                                                                         

And I do fear them.


Calpurnia does not believe ‘n the moment and forecasts but still she is afraid. A person inside at the moment her oh horrible happenings other than they have seen and heard. The  watchman saw, the lioness giving birth to her cubs in the street. Graves have opened up exposing the dead. Fierce warriors could be seen fighting in the clouds. Blood drizzled on the Capitol. The screaming and uttering shrill cries of the ghosts could be heard in the streets. Calpurnia says that these signs are most unnatural and foretell something wrong to happen. She considers all these signs an ill-omen and fears there may be a threat to Caesar’s life

CAESAR What can be avoided                                                                 

 Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?                                                                                    

Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions                                                  

  Are to the world in general as to Caesar.


 Here Caesar is not afraid of death. He says if the Almighty has willed something i.e. death, nothing can be done to avoid it. He will go out because these predictions are not only for him but for the others also. He does not believe in these omens.

CALPURNIA When beggars die, there are no comets seen;                                                       

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.


 Calpurnia tries to convince Caesar not to go to the Senate House as she fears something wrong. She says that there are no ill-omens seen on the death of common people but the heavens themselves announce the death of eminent people.

CAESAR Cowards die many times before their deaths;                                                                                                

The valiant never taste of death but once.                                                                                                                                                  Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.                                                                                                                

 It seems to me most strange that men should fear;                                                                       

 Seeing that death, a necessary end,                                                                                      

Will come when it will come.                                                                                                                                                                                              Re-enter Servant                                                                                                                                            

What say the augurers?


Here Caesar argues bravely by saying that cowards die many times in their lifetime because of fear but the brave die only once. It seems most strange to him that people fear death when death is an inevitable truth of life. None can escape the cluthes of death. It will come at its appointed hour. Just then the servant enters. Caesar wants to know the opinion of the soothsayers.

Servant They would not have you to stir forth to-day.                                                                                                             Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,                                                                                       

They could not find a heart within the beast.


EXPLANATION                                                                                                                                                                                        The servant tells Caesar that the priests also want Caesar should not go out because they did not find any heart within the beast of sacrifice while slaughtering the animal for offering to a deity. 

CAESAR The gods do this in shame of cowardice:                                                                           

Caesar should be a beast without a heart,                                                                                           

 If he should stay at home to-day for fear.                                                                                                           

No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well                                                                                       

That Caesar is more dangerous than he:                                                                                               

we are two letter’d in one day,                                                                                                                                

And I the elder and more terrible:                                                                                                           

And Caesar shall go forth.


Here Caesar appears to be over-confident and arrogant. He says that even Gods have done this deed out of cowardice by showing him a beast without a heart. He will not stay at home because Caesar is more dangerous than the danger.

CALPURNIA Alas, my lord,                                                                                                                           

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.                                                                             

  Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear                                                                                   

That keeps you in the house, and not your own.                                                                                              

 We’ll send Mark Antony to the senate-house:                                                                 

 And he shall say you are not well to-day:                                                            

 Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.


  Calpurnia says that Caesar is over-confident and his over confidence has shadowed his wisdom. She requests him not to go out because she fears something unwanted to happen. Mark Antony will inform the Senators that Caesar is not well. She falls upon her knees and requests Caesar to let her have her way in this matter.

CAESAR Mark Antony shall say I am not well,                                                                                   

And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.                                                                             

Enter DECIUS BRUTUS                                                                       

Here’s Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.

EXPLANATION                                                                                                                                                                                  Caesar agrees that Mark Antony will inform the Senators that he is sick. In this way Caesar is ready to stay home to please Calpurnia. Just then Decius Brutus enters.

DECIUS BRUTUSCaesar, all hail! good morrow, worthy Caesar:                                                                

 I come to fetch you to the senate-house.


 Decius offers his greetings to Caesar and tells that he is here to fetch him to the Senate House.

CAESAR And you are come in very happy time ,                                                                                             

 To bear my greeting to the senators                                                                                                                     

And tell them that I will not come to-day:                                                                                            

Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:

I will not come to-day: tell them so, Decius.                                                                                        

CALPURNIA Say he is sick.


Caesar says that Decius has arrived at an appropriate time and requests him to convey his greetings to the Senators and tell them Caesar will not come. Caesar does not tell the reason as he does not want to tell a lie. Just then Calpurnia asks Decius to tell the Senators that Caesar is sick.

CAESAR Shall Caesar send a lie?                                                                                                                              

Have I in conquest stretch’d mine arm so far,                                                                                     

To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?                                                                                                             

Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.


Caesar, a great conqueror, does not want to tell a lie to the old Senators. He is not afraid of speaking the truth to them. So he asks Decius to tell them Caesar will not come.

DECIUS BRUTUSMost mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laugh’d at when I tell them so.

EXPLANATION                                                                                                                                                                                Decius wants to know the reason lest he should be ridiculed by the Senators.

CAESAR Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:                                                                   

She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,                                                       

Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,                                                                                                                                       Did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans                                                                       

Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:                                                                                 

And these does she apply for warnings, and portents,                                                                                                                 And evils imminent; and on her knee                                                            

Hath begg’d that I will stay at home to-day.


Here Caesar tells Decius Brutus the reason for not going to the Senate House. His wife, Ca!patina has requested him to stay home because last night she had had a bad dream. She dreamt of his statue with a hundred spouts gushing out blood. Many Lusty Romans came smiling and washed their hands in it. She takes all this to be a warning, indicative of some evil happening. So she begs him to stay home.

DECIUS BRUTUSThis dream is all amiss interpreted;                                                                                     

It was a vision fair and fortunate:                                                                                                             

 Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,                                                                                                         

  In which so many smiling Romans bathed, ,                                                                                      

Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck ,                                                                                  

  Reviving blood , and that great men shall press                                                                                                                                       For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.                                                                                                 

This by Calpurnia’s dream is signified.                                                                                    

CAESAR And this way have you well expounded it.



Decius says that Calpurnia has misinterpreted the dream. He interprets the dream the other way rounded by saying that it was a lucky dream. The strong Romans came smiling and washed their hands in the blood gushing out from the spouts of Caesar’s statue would giiracen7i. life and vitality. The dream means that the greatest Romans will gather around Caesar to get relics and mementoes. Here Caesar gets flattered and admires Decius Brutus’ explanation of Calpurnia’s dream.

DECIUS BRUTUSI have, when you have heard what I can say:                                                  

 And know it now: the senate have concluded                                                                                                  

 To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.                                                                                                          

 If you shall send them word you will not come,                                                                                                

Their minds may change.


Decius is very clever. He tells Caesar that the Senate has decided to present him the King Crown and if he sends a message that he is not coming, their minds may change.

CAESAR How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!                                                           

  I am ashamed I did yield to them.                                                                                                          

Give me my robe, for I will go.


 Caesar says that he is ashamed of having believed in Calpurnia’s dream and yeilded to her fears as her fears seem totally unfounded.


CAESAR Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;                                                      

And we, like friends, will straightway go together.

EXPLANATION                                                                                                                                                                                      Caesar welcomes the Senators and offers them wine. They will all leave together as friends.

BRUTUS [Aside] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,                                                                         

The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon !                                                                                                          



 Here Brutus is aggrieved to see that it is a pity that Caesar is not able to understand they are not really his friends.

Act Ill Scene I                                                                                                                                                

Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above.                                                          


CAESAR Are we all ready? What is now amiss                                                                                   

 That Caesar and his senate must redress?


Caesar asks the Senators if they all are ready to assist Caesar to set the things right again.

METELLUS CIMBERMost high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat An humble heart,–                                                                                                                                               



 Mettellus Cimber, one of the Senators, throws his humble self with all his heart at the feet of the most powerful Caesar.

CAESAR I must prevent thee, Cimber.                                                                                                 

These couchings and these lowly courtesies                                                                                     

 Might fire the blood of ordinary men,                                                                                                                                                             And turn pre-ordinance and first decree                                                                                       

 Into the law of children.                                                                                                              

Thy brother by decree is banished:                                                                                                                         

If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,                                                                                                    

I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.                                                                                                    

Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause                                                                            

Will he be satisfied.


 Here Caesar does not like flattery. He says that he must prevent Cimber from bowing and bending to impress him. Only common people can be impressed in this way. But the laws are not an easy cup of tea like the child’s play that they can be changed at will. Caesar says that Metellus Cimber’s brother has been banished by law and if he begs for his repeal, he will kick him like a dog. Here Caesar again appears to be very arrogant. He says that he cannot be convinced without a very solid reason.

METELLUS CIMBERIs there no voice more worthy than my own                                                                                                    To sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s ear                                                                                                                                                      For the repealing of my banish’d brother?


Here Metellus Cimber wants to know from Caesar if anyone else can beg for the repeal of his banished brother, Publius Cimber.

BRUTUS I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar;                                                                        

Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may                                                                                                  

Have an immediate freedom of repeal.


Brutus very respectfully begs Caesar to grant pardon to Publius Cimber and change his order of his banishment. Caesar is astonished at Brutus’ gesture.

CAESAR What, Brutus!                                                                                                                                                

CASSIUS Pardon, Caesar; Caesar, pardon:                                                                          

 As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,                                                                                                  

 To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.


Cassius also seeks pardon for Publius Cimber. So he falls at Caesar’s feet and begs for Cimber’s enfranchisement.

CAESAR I could be well moved, if I were as you:                                                                                                                                       If I could pray to move , prayers would move me:                                                                                  

 But I am constant as the northern star,                                                                                                                

Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality                                                                                                

 There is no fellow in the firmament.                                                                                                                                                                  I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,                                                                                                     

And constant do remain to keep him so.                                                                                                              

CASCA Speak, hands for me!                                                                                   

CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and BRUTUS stab CAESAR                                         CAESAR Et tu, Brute ! Then fall, Caesar.                                                                                                                



Here Caesar appears to be very rigid, obstinate and arrogant. Caesar says that if he were an ordinary person like Metellus Cimber, he would change his mind. But he is constant like the Northern Star. He cannot revoke his decision. He was certain about Cimber’s banishment and he will still stick to his decision. Caesar’s obstinate refusal to recall Cimber’s banishment gives an opportunity to the conspirators to assassinate him. Casca attacks Caesar first followed by other conspirators and finally Brutus stabs him. Caesar is heart-broken to see Brutus stab him. Then Caesar falls and dies.                                                                                          

CINNA Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.            

CASSIUS Some to the common pulpits, and cry out ‘                                                                     

Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’                                                                                            

BRUTUS But here comes Antony.                                                                                          

Re-enter ANTONY                                                                                                                                          

Welcome, Mark Antony.


Cassius says that someone should go out among the common people and declare freedom. Just then Mark Antony re-enters.

ANTONY O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?                                                                                                               

 Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,                                                                                                

Shrunk to this little measure ? Fare thee well.

I know not gentlemen, what you intend,                                                                                                             

 Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:                                                                                                  

If I myself, there is no hour so fit                                                                                                                             

As Caesar’s death hour, nor no instrument                                                                                         

Of half that worth as thoseyour swords, made rich                                                                         

With the most noble blood of all this world.                                                                                        

 I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,                                                                                                   

Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,                                                                                     

1 Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years,                                                                                                      

  I shall not find myself so apt to die:                                                                                                       

No place will please me so, no mean of death,                                                                                                  

As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,                                                                                                  

  The choice and master spirits of this age.



Antony is overwhelmed with grief to see the dead body of Caesar. He says that Caesar has been brought to such a lowly position. All his achievements have been reduced to the little space on which he is lying. Antony is very clever and a practical politician. He does not want to offend the conspirators at this juncture. He surrenders himself to the conspirators. He says that he does not know what is up in their minds, to whom they are going to kill next. If they are thinking of killing him, then the hour of Caesar’s death is the most suitable time and the sword with which Caesar has been killed is the best weapon for him. Antony says if they wish to kill him, they should do the same without any hesitation. He wishes to be killed at their hands, who are the most powerful people.


BRUTUS  Antony, beg not your death of us.                                                                                      

Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,                                                                                                                

Yet see you but our hands                                                                                                                          

   And this the bleeding business they have done:                                                                                                                                        Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;                                                                                                                        

And pity to the general wrong of Rome —                                                                                            

As fire drives out fire, so pity                                                                                                                     

Eily-21 Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part,                                                                                     

  To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony:                                                                                  

 Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts                                                                                               

Of brothers’ temper, do receive you in                                                                                                                                                      With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.


Though they appear to be bloody but he Brutus says that they do not want to kill Antony.  is unable to see their hearts that are full of pity for the common people who have been wronged. Just as fire drives out fire, in the same way, their sympathy for the common People drove out mercy for Caesar and they killed him. But they do not have any reason to kill Antony. Though they may appear bloody but they welcome him with great respect.

CASSIUS Your voice shall be as strong as any man’s                                                                        

 In the disposing of new dignities.


Cassius says that Antony will get honour and authority in disposing the new government.

ANTONY I doubt not of your wisdom.                                                                                                                  

  Let each man render me his bloody hand:                                                                                         

Gentlemen all,–alas, what shall I say?                                                                                                                   

My credit now stands on such slippery ground,                                                                                 

That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,                                                                              

Either a coward or a flatterer.                                                                                                                    

 That I did love thee, Caesar, 0, ’tis true:                                                                                                                               

If then thy spirit look upon us now,                                                                                                        

Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death,                                                                                   

To see thy Antony making his peace,                                                                                                     

Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes,                                                                                                 

Most noble! in the presence of thy corse?


Antony says that he has no doubts about their intentions. He requests them to allow him to shake their hands that are smeared with the blood of Caesar. He is in dilemma about what to say and what not to say. His integrity is at stake. They can either consider him a flatterer or a coward. He turns to Caesar’s dead body and says that he loved him dearly. If his spirit sees him shaking hands with his assassins over his dead body, will it not grieve him more than the actual grief and pain caused by his death?

CASSIUS Mark Antony,–                                                                                                                            

ANTONY  Pardon me, Caius Cassius:                                                                                                                                                            The enemies of Caesar shall say this;                                                                                              

 Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty .


Antony begs pardon from Cassius for speaking like this but even Caesar’s enemies will speak the same. He can say so because he is a friend of Caesar.


CASSIUS I blame you not for praising Caesar so;                                                                                              

But what compact mean you to have with us?                                                                                   

Will you be prick’d in number of our friends;                                                                                                      

 Or shall we on, and not depend on you?


Cassius says that he does not want to blame Antony’s manner of speaking. But he wants to know his stand on the issue of Caesar’s death and the disposing of the new dignities. He wants to know if they should depend on his support as a friend.

I ANTONY Therefore I took your hands, but was, indeed,                                             

Sway’d from the point, by looking down on Caesar.                                                                        

Friends am I with you all and love you all,                                                                                             

 Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons                                                                                               

   Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.


Here Antony says that he wanted to shake hands with them as a friend but he got emotionally carried away when he saw Caesar’s dead body. Now as a friend he wants to know where Caesar was going to be dangerous for them.

BRUTUS Our reasons are so full ofgood regard                                                                

That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar ”                                                                                        

You should be satisfied.


 Brutus says that they have solid reasons for killing Caesar and Antony will also be convinced as he was very close to Caesar.

ANTONY That’s all I seek:                                                                                                          

And am moreover suitor that I may                                                                                                        

Produce his body to the market-place;                                                                                                                 

And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,                                                                                                 

  Speak in the order of his funeral.                                                                                                           

BRUTUS You shall, Mark Antony.


Antony wants Brutus’ permission to carry Caesar’s dead body into the market-place and deliver a funeral speech as a tribute. Brutus rants him permission.

CASSIUS Brutus, a word with you.                                                                                                         

Aside to BRUTUS                                                                                                                                           

You know not what you do: do not consent                                                                                                        

That Antony speak in his funeral:                                                                                                             

Know you how much the people may be moved                                                                                                              

 By that which he will utter?                          



Cassius takes Brutus aside and asks him not to allow Antony to speak. He can incite people by his words. In fact, Cassius is not in favour of Antony speak in Caesar’s funeral.


BRUTUS By your pardon                                                                                                                                             

I will myself into the pulpit first                                                                                                                                                

 And show the reason —a-our Caesar’s death:                                                                                  

 What Antony shall speak, I will protest                                                                                                 

 He speaks by leave and by permission.                                                                                                                

CASSIUS I know not what may fall; I like it not.


 But Brutus says that he will speak first and give reasons for Caesar’s death. He will tell the public that Antony speaks with their permission. Cassius does not like the idea as he does not know what may befall.

BRUTUS Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar’s body.                                                                   

You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,                                                                                  

 But speak all good you can deviseof Caesar,                                                                                      

 And say you do it by our permission;                                                                                                                     

Else shall you not have any hand at all                                                                                                   

About his funeral: and you shall speak                                                                                                  

 In the same pulpit whereto I am going,                                                                                                                

After my speech is ended.                                                                                                                          

ANTONY Be it so.                                                                                                                          

I do desire no more.                                                                                                                                       BRUTUS Prepare the body then, and follow us.                                                                                   

  Exeunt all but ANTONY


Brutus allows Antony to carry Caesar’s dead body with the condition that in his speech, he must not blame them. He may speak good about Caesar. He will speak from the same platform as Brutus and after Brutus has concluded his speech. Antony promises that he will not blame them in his speech. Brutus asks Antony to prepare the dead body and follow them.

ANTONY  pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,                                                                                      

 That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!                                                                             

Thou art therruins of the noblest man                                                                   

 That ever lived In the tide of times.                                                                                                       

    Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!                                                                                 

Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,—                                                                                                               

Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,                                                                                             

To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue–                                                                                                

A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;                                                                                           

Domestic fury and fierce civil strife                                                                                         

 Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;                                                                                                           

  Blood and destruction shall be so in use                                                                                                                                                           And dreadful objects so familiar                                                                                                        

 That mothers shall but smile when they behold                                                                                               

Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;                                                                                   

 All pity choked with custom of fell deeds :                                                                                                                                             And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,

With Ate by his side come hot from hell,                                                                                              

 Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice                                                                                                  

   Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;                                                                                                                                                            That this foul deed shall smell above the earth                                                                                            

  With carrion men, groaning for burial.                                                                                                 

Exeunt with CAESAR’S body       


   Now Antony is sitting all alone with the corpse of Caesar. He begs forgiveness from Caesar for being polite and submissive with his assassins. He says that Caesar is the remains of the noblest man that ever lived. He curses the hands that shed this costly blood. Caesar’s wounds are like dumb mouths that are begging him to speak for them. Antony curses the murderers and predicts over Caesar’s wounds that there will be civil war all over Italy. Violence and bloodshed will be common. Mother’s will only smile when they see their babies killed in war. Mercy and pity will vanish from the hearts of the people as they f would get used to acts of tyranny. The spirit of Caesar will come with Ate, g revenge. War will be widespread. Caesar’s spirit will order death and  goddess o authority of a king. The foul smell from decomposing dead bodies with the will pervade the atmosphere.

The Forum. Act Ill –Scene II                                                                                                                  

Enter BRUTUSsand CASSIUS, and a throng of Citizens                                                                                    

Citizens We will be satisfied;                                                                                                                                                                             let us be satisfied. BRUTUS Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.                                          

First Citizen                                                                                                                                       

 I will hear Brutus speak.                                                                                                                                               BRUTUS goes into the pulpit                                                                                                                   

Second Citizen                                                                                                                                                 

The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!                                                                                                                  


Be patient till the last. –                                                                                                                                

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may  hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may 17 believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better C judge. 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. II Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that fo rt Caunate, esar were rejo ice dead at it;, to liveas all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was I  he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman’? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? it any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.

All None, Brutus, none.


Brutus enters with Cassius and a large group of citizens. They seek a satisfactory reason behind Caesar’s murder. Brutus asks them to follow him and listen to him patiently so that he can explain the cause, he represents. He requests them to believe him to be respectable so that they can believe what he says. They should use their wisdom to pass judgement on him. They should keep their sense of understanding alert so that they may judge better. He asks if there is any friend of Caesar in the gathering, he would like to tell him that his love for Caesar was no less but his love for Rome was greater than his love for Caesar, He asks the mob if they would like to be bondmen if Caesar lived long. Now Caesar is no more so, they can live freely. Brutus says that Caesar loved him. So he cries for him. Caesar was fortunate. So he is happy. He honours him because Caesar was brave. He killed him because Caesar was ambitious.

There are tears for his love, joy for his goodluck, respect for his bravery and death for his ambition. Brutus further asks the people which one of them is so lowly that he wants to be a bondman. If there is any, he must speak up because he has offended him. Who is so uncivilized to be a Roman? If there is any, he should speak up for he has offended him.Who is so evil that he does not love his country? If there is any he should speak up for he has offended him. He waits for a reply.


BRUTUS Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus . The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences enforced , for which he suffered death.


After getting reply in negative from the mob, Brutus says that then he has not offended any one. He has treated Caesar just as they would treat him if he becomes ambitious. He says that the reasons for Caesar’s death have been recorded in the Senate House. His glories and achievements have not been extenuated and the offences that caused his death have not been emphasized.

Enter ANTONY and others, with CAESAR’S body                                                                                                

  Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth ; as which of you shall not? With this I depart,–that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.                                                                                  

All Live, Brutus! live, live!

First Citizen Bring him with triumph home unto his house.                                                          

Second Citizen Give him a statue with his ancestors.                                                      

Third Citizen Let him be Caesar.                                                                                                                                Fourth Citizen Caesar’s better parts                                                                                                       

 Shall be crown’d in Brutus.                                                                                                                         

First Citizen We’ll bring him to his house                                                                                              

With shouts and clamours.                                                                                                                         

BRUTUSMy countrymen,–                                                                                                                        

Second Citizen Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.                                                                                   

First Citizen Peace, ho!                                                                                                                                                

BRUTUS Good countrymen, let me depart alone,

And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:                                                                                            

Do grace to Caesar’s corpse, and grace his speech                                                                           

Tending to Caesar’s glories; which Mark A ton n y,                                                                                           

By our permission, is allow’d to make.                                                                                                   

  I do entreat you, not a man depart,                                                                                                      

 Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.



Just then Antony enters with Caesar’s dead body. Brutus says that Antony will benefit like the common people from Caesar’s death though he has no hand in the killing of Caesar. He says that the same dagger with which Caesar was killed may be used to kill him if it is for the good of Rome. Here the mob wishes for Brutus’ long life. First citizen suggests to take Brutus with honour to his house. Second citizen wishes to erect a statue with his forefathers. Third citizen suggests that he should take over the position of Caesar. Fourth citizen opines that the qualities of Caesar should be recognized and honoured in Brutus. Now Brutus requests the countrymen not to depart and for his sake stay with Antony. They should honour Caesar’s dead body and listen to Antony’s speech gracefully. He will deliver his speech with their permission. Brutus requests that no one except him should leave till Antony finishes his speech.


First Citizen Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.                                                                        

Third Citizen Let him go up into the public chair;                                                                               

 We’ll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.                                                                                                   

ANTONY For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.                                                                            

Goes into the pulpit                                                                                                       

Fourth Citizen What does he say of Brutus?                                                                                       

Third Citizen He says, for Brutus’ sake,                                                                                                 

He finds himself beholding to us all.                                                                                                       

Fourth Citizen ‘Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.                                                    

First Citizen This Caesar was a tyrant.                                                                                                    

Third Citizen Nay, that’s certain:                                                                                                              

 We are blest that Rome is rid of him.                                                                                                    

Second Citizen Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.                                                                                               

ANTONY You gentle Romans,–                                                                                                                

Citizens Peace, ho! let us hear him.


First citizen asks others to wait and hear Mark Antony.                                                                 

Third citizen requests Antony to go up to the public platform.                                                    

Fourth citizen praises Antony for not speaking against Brutus.

First citizen says that Caesar was a ruthless ruler.                                                                                             

Third citizen feels happy as Rome has got rid of Caesar.

Antony is very clever. He says that he is going to address the Romans as it has been suggested by Brutus.


ANTONY Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;                                                     

 I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.                                                                                            

The evil that men do lives after them;                                                                                                   

 The good is oft interred with their bones;                                                                                                           

So let it be with Caesar. 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 honourable man;                                                                                                            

 So are they all, all honourable 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 honourable 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 Brutus is an honourable man.                                                                                        

You all did see that on the Lupercal                                                                                                        

  I thrice presented him a kingly crown,                                                                                                 

Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?                                                                                                  

  Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;                                                                                         

And, sure, he is an honourable man.                                                                                                                      

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,                                                                                                        

But here I am to speak what I do know.                                                                                                                                

 You all did love him once, not without cause:                                                                                                    

What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?                                                                        

 O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,                                                                                                     

And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;                                                                                                 

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,                                                                                         

 And I must pause till it come back to me.


EXPLANATION Antony requests the count praise Caesar because the good countrymen to pay attention to him . He says that he does not aim to praise Caesar because the good is often forgotten after death whereas  the evil deeds of Men are remembered. So let it be with Caesar also. He reminds the citizens that Noble Brutus has told them that Caesar was He says If that is true, it was a grievous fault and other respected people, have come so he says that he, with the permission of Brutus and me speak at Caesar’s funeral. Caesar was always kind and just to him but Brutus says that he was ambitious. It must be right because  Brutus is an honourable man Antony is very shrewd. He reminds the people that Caesar brought home many captives and filled the treasury of Rome with the wealth from victories. Does that prove that Caesar was ambitious?  Caesar shared the sorrows of the poor and wept with them. He thinks that an ambitious man is always stone-hearted. Here he attitude by saying  that Brutus is an honourable man. He reminds the people how he himself thrice presented Caesar the crown on the occasion of the feast of Lupercal and he thrice refused to accept the same. Was this an ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, it must be so because Brutus is an honourable man. Antony says that he does not want to disapprove Brutus. He is simply expressing what he  knows. Further Antony reminds the people how they all loved  Caesar for good reason While he lived. Now why don’t they mourn for him? He says that judgement has gone to beasts. But they should judge themselves. Antony pauses in his speaking. He says that his heart is with Caesar in his coffin and he must wait for it to come back to him before he can speak again. In this way, he gives a chance to the people to brood over whether Caesar was ambitious.

First Citizen Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.                                                          

Second Citizen If thou consider rightly of the matter,                                                                    

Caesar has had great wrong.                                                                                                                      

Third Citizen Has he, masters?                                                                                                                                 

   I fear there will a worse come in his place.                                                                                        

Fourth Citizen Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown;                                                         

Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.                                                                                       

First Citizen If it be found so, some will dear abide it.                                                                     

Second CitizenPoor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.                                                

Third Citizen There’s not a nobler man in Rome than speak . Antony.

Fourth Citizen Now mark him, he begins again to speak.



The play-might’ William Shakespeare has depicted the mob as fickle-minded.

Third citizen thinks that there is a great deal of truth in what Antony is saying.

Second citizen says that they should consider the matter deeply. Caesar has suffered a wrong treatment.

Third citizen fears that a far worse person will replace Caesar.                                   

 Fourth citizen says that Caesar’s refusal of crown shows that he was not ambitious.

First citizen opines that someone dear to Caesar will abide it.                                                     

Second citizen notices Antony’s grief as his eyes are red as fire with weeping.                   

Third citizen says that no one can be nobler in Rome than Antony.


ANTONY But yesterday the word of Caesar might                                                                           

Have stood against the world; now lies he there.                                                                             

And none so poor to do him reverence.                                                                                                                                                                                        0 masters, if I were disposed to stir                                                                                                                                                                Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,                                                                                   

 I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,                                                                                  

Who, you all know, are honourable men:                                                                                                            

 I will not do them wrong; I rather choose                                                                                            

  To wrong the dead , to wrong myself and you,                                                                                               

  Than I will wrong such honourable men.                                                                                                            

  But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;                                                                             

   I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:                                                                                                          

Let but the commons hear this testament–                                                                                       

 Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–                                                                                       

 And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds                                                                                        

 And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,                                                                                           

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,                                                                                                         

  And, dying, mention it within their wills,                                                                                                             

Bequeathing it as a rich legacy                                                                                                                                                                    Unto their issue.                                                                                                                                   

Fourth Citizen We’ll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.                                                                                               

All The will, the will! we will hear Caesar’s will.                                                                                  

ANTONY Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;                                                                          

 It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.                                                                                                               

You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;                                                                              

   And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,                                                                                     

 It will inflame you, it will make you mad:                                                                                             

‘Tis good you know not that you are his heirs:                                                                                    

For, if you should, 0, what would come of it!                                                                                      

Fourth Citizen Read the will; we’ll hear it, Antony;                                                                           

  You shall read us the will, Caesar’s will.



Antony re-starts his speech. He said that s that only yesterday the word of Caesar meant much more to the world. But today even the ordinary people will not pay respect to his dead body. He says that he will be doing wrong if he tries to inflame the feelings of the common people against the murderers. In this way, he will be doing Brutus and Cassius wrong. But they all are honourable men. So he will not do them any wrong for he would rather do wrong to himself and the Romans.  He shows the Romans the will of Caesar that he found in his closet. Antony is very clever. He creates a suspense among the mob when he says that he is not going if the common people hear it, they would rush to kiss Caesar’s wounds read and  dip their handkerchiefs in his blood or take a hair of his and preserve it as a memento. They would regard it a great honour and mention it in their will after death for the future generations. They all get excited and want Antony to read the will.   Antony knows it well that the common masses are always swayed by emotions. So he plays with their emotions. He says that he is not going to read the will to them. After all, they are not heartless. They are not wood or stones. They are humans. They can judge what is right or what is wrong. So if they hear the will, they will get angry at the death of Caesar. It is better they must not know they are Caesar’s heirs. He fears to imagine how they would react.           

Fourth citizen insists Mark Antony to read Caesar’s will.

ANTONY Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?                                                                        

I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it:                                                                                  

 I fear I wrong the honourable men                                                                                                        

  Whose daggers have stabb’d Caesar; I do fear it.                                                                            

Fourth Citizen They were traitors: honourable men!                                                                      

   All The will! the testament!                                                                                                     

Second Citizen They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.                                      

ANTONY You will compel me, then, to read the will?                                                                      

Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,                                                                   

And let me show you him that made the will.                                                                                    

  Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?                                                                                                    

Several Citizens Come down.                                                                                                                   

Second Citizen Descend.                                                                                                             

Third Citizen You shall have leave.                                                                                                          

ANTONY comes down                                                                                                  

Fourth Citizen A ring; stand round.


Antony says that he wants to escape telling the Romans the will of Caesar because he  fears that a wrong will happen to the honourable men who have stabbed Caesar.]

Fourth citizen cans the on Antony asks if they are compelling him to read the will, then they should form a circle murderers. Antony ask if they are compelling him to read the will then they should from the circle around Caesar’s dead body so that they can see the person who made this will. 

Antony comes down. The citizens also form a circle around Caesar’s body.


ANTONY If you have tears, prepare to shed them now                                                                               

You all do know this mantle : I remember                                                                                            

The first time ever Caesar put it on;

‘Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,                                                                            

 That day he overcame the Nervii :                                                         

Look, in this place ran Cassius dagger through:                                                                                                  

See what a rent the envious Casca made:                                                                                           

  Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed;                                                                                                               

  And as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,                                                                                                                                                             Mark how the blood of Caesar follow’d it,                                                                                                           

As rushing out of doors, to be resolved                                                                                                

 If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no;                                                                                                      

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel:                                                                                     

 Judge, 0 you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!                                                                                            

This was the most unkindest cut of all;                                                                                                                  

   For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,                                                                                         

Ingratitude , more strong than traitors’ arms,                                                                                    

Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart;                                                                         

And, in his mantle muffling up his face,                                                                                                 

 Even at the base of Pompey’s statue,                                                                                                   

Which all the while ran blood , great Caesar fell.                                                                             

 0, what a fall was there, my countrymen!                                                                                                                                                 Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,                                                                                               

Whilst bloody treason flourish’d over us.



Antony shows the Romans the sight that will move them to tears. He shows them the cloak that Caesar put on after his victory over the Nervii. He shows them the spot where Cassius’ dagger pierced through Caesar’s body and made a deep wound. He shows them the spot where Brutus stabbed and how the blood of Caesar followed his dagger to check if it was really his dear Brutus who had stabbed him. He tells the mob how dearly Caesar loved Brutus. Brutus’ stab was the worst for it broke the heart of Caesar. Caesar wept bitterly covering his face in his cloak and then fell dead at the foot of the statue of Pompei. It was a great fall. The treachery enjoyed victory over them.

Antony- O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel                                                                                      

The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.                                                                                           

Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold                                                                           

   Our Caesar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,                                                                                            

 Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, with traitors.                                                                            

First Citizen O piteous spectacle!                                                                                                             Second Citizen O noble Caesar!                                                                                                                                                

Third Citizen O woeful day!                                                                                       

Fourth Citizen O traitors, villains!                                                                                                             

First Citizen O most bloody sight!                                                                                             Second Citizen We will be revenged.


Antony is very clever. He makes an emotional and passionate speech.  He says that he does not want that people rise in revolt because the people who killed Caesar are all honourable people. He does not know for what reasons they had to kill him but he is sure they convinced the mob with their reasons. He says that he does not want to incite the public. He is not a good orator like Brutus. He is a plain blunt man who loved his friend Caesar. Those who has given him permission to speak, know it very well that he does not have the intellect, words or style to win over people. He is simply speaking the things which all people already know. He is simply showing them Caesar’s wounds and bid them speak. He says if Brutus makes a speech in place of Antony, he would instigate the Romans to mutiny. He would use every wound on Caesar’s body to force them to revolt. All people want mutiny.  They rush to find the conspirators and burn the house of Brutus.


ANTONY Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:                                           

Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?                                                                                             

Alas, you know not: I must tell you then:                                                                                                             

You have forgot the will I told you of.                                                                                                                    

All Most true. The will! Let’s stay and hear the will.                                                                         

ANTONY Here is the will, and under Caesar’s seal.                                                                                         

To every Roman citizen he gives,                                                                                                             

To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.                                                                                  

Second Citizen Most noble Caesar! We’ll revenge his death.                                                      

Third Citizen O royal Caesar!                                                                                                                     

ANTONY Hear me with patience.                                                                                                             

All Peace, ho!                                                                                                                                   

ANTONY Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,                                                                                           

His private arbours and new-planted orchards,                                                                                                 

   On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,

And to your heirs  forever, common pleasures,                                                                                                

   To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?                                                                                               

First Citizen Never, never. Come, away, away!                                                                 

We’ll burn his body in the holy place,                                                                                                     

 And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.                                                                                   

  Take up the body.                                                                                                        

Second Citizen Go fetch fire.                                                                                                     

Third Citizen Pluck down benches.                                                                                                         

Fourth Citizen Pluck down forms, windows, anything.                                                                   

 Exeunt Citizens with the body                                                                                                  

ANTONY Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,

Take thou what course thou wilt!                                                                                            



Here Antony uses his last weapon that is Caesar’s will to instigate the mob. He asks them why they are running without knowing the reason. He refers to Caesar’s will. Caesar has left seventy five drachmas to every Roman. 

Second citizen says that they will avenge Caesar’s death.

Third citizen says that Caesar was very generous. Antony elaborates-Caesar-has left his private gardens and orchards on the side of the Tiber to the Romans for their rest and recreation for ages and ages. Caesar was a great man. They will never see such a great man.

First citizen admits the fact. They carry Caesar’s body for cremation at a holy place. They want to use torches from his pyre to burn the houses of the traitors.

 Antony says that trouble has begun and now let it go its natural way.

After the extract:                                                                                                                                            

Antony instigates the mob to revenge. He then sits with Octavius Caesar, Julius Caesar’s nephew, coldly calculating how to purge any future threat. Brutus and Cassius fall apart as the idealist in Brutus is outraged by Cassius’ practicality. The armies of Octavius Caesar and Antony clash with those of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi and Sardis. Brutus and Cassius are defeated and both commit suicide.

2 thoughts on “Line to Line Explanation of Julius Caesar

  1. Anonymous

    thanks a lot for this
    i have been using your notes for the entire 10th semester
    bless you
    pls upload of 11th too

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