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Julius Caesar Principles Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #1

CASSIUS
Well, honor is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself. (1.2.99-103)

Cassius uses the veil of honor to mask his own ambition.  His pride will not allow him to be led by a peer.  His pride is wounded by the fact that Caesar, whom Cassius sees as no more worthy than him, has assumed the leadership of Rome.

Quote #2

CASSIUS
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
'Alas,' it cried, 'Give me some drink, Titinius'
As a sick girl. You gods, it doth amaze me
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world
And bear the palm alone. (1.2.132-138)

Part of what bothers Cassius about Caesar isn't ambition; it's the sheer gall of Caesar wanting to be immortalized.

Quote #3

BRUTUS
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us. (1.2.180-184)

Brutus's honor gets the better of him here – or does it?  Does this mean he'd rather not deal with the whole mess, or that he'd never be a villager and won't stand by and let Caesar take Rome?

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