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Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

Art and Culture Quotes Page 3

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Quote #7

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? (3.1.17)

When Brutus grants Antony permission to speak at his friend Caesar's funeral, Cassius seems to be the only person who knows how dangerous Antony's speech will be.  As we know, Antony plays the crowd perfectly (just like Caesar did back in Act 1), and his delivery of a carefully crafted speech helps incite a civil war.

Quote #8

CINNA THE POET
Truly, my name is Cinna.
First Citizen
Tear him to pieces; he's a conspirator.
CINNA THE POET
I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
Fourth Citizen
Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
CINNA THE POET
I am not Cinna the conspirator.
Fourth Citizen
It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going. (3.3.4)

Poets don't get any love in Julius Caesar, do they?  After Caesar is assassinated, chaos ensues on the streets of Rome and nobody is safe.  Here, Cinna the poet is mistaken for Cinna the conspirator, but even after he declares his true identity to the angry mob, he's ripped to shreds for his "bad verses."  Gee, is poet and playwright Will Shakespeare trying to tell us something?  Check out 4.3.1 (below) for more on this.

Quote #9

Cassius, be content.
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. (4.2.9)

Brutus knows how dangerous it is for him to argue with Cassius on what amounts to a public "stage."  Because he knows the troops are watching closely, he urges Cassius into the tent, where these two generals can hash out their differences in private.

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