Julius Caesar Fate and Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome?
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.
"Speak, strike, redress!" Am I entreated
To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise:
If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus! (2.1.6)
Brutus seems to suggest that it's his fate to take up the cause of Rome: he's compelled by the actions his ancestors once took to save it. He has to follow in his forefathers' footsteps for both public reasons and his own honor.
Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight.
Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
"Help, ho! They murther Caesar!" (2.2.1)
Calphurnia experiences an ominous dream that foreshadows Caesar's death just before the Ides of March. But will Caesar pay attention? Keep reading...
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home;
She dreamt tonight 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 today. (2.2.11)
When Calphurnia dreams of Caesar's body spurting blood like a fountain, she correctly interprets this to mean that something bad is going to happen to her husband and warns him to stay home that day. (It turns out that Caesar is stabbed 33 times and does, in fact, look like a bloody fountain.) At first it seems like Caesar is going to heed his wife's warning. But Calphurnia's attempts to protect him are completely undermined when Decius shows up and says women don't know how to interpret dreams. If this dream hadn't come from Calphurnia (who is a woman, so implicitly considered less insightful during Caesar's day), would Caesar have listened?