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Julius Caesar

Please see the bottom of the page for full explanatory notes and helpful resources.

ACT II SCENE III A street near the Capitol. 
 Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a paper. 
ARTEMIDORUS 'Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; 
 come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna, trust not 
 Trebonius: mark well Metellus Cimber: Decius Brutus 
 loves thee not: thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. 5
 There is but one mind in all these men, and it is 
 bent against Caesar. If thou beest not immortal, 
 look about you: security gives way to conspiracy. 
 The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover, 
 Here will I stand till Caesar pass along, 
 And as a suitor will I give him this. 
 My heart laments that virtue cannot live 
 Out of the teeth of emulation. 
 If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayst live; 15
 If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive. 

Next: Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 4


Explanatory Notes for Act 2, Scene 3
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.



Scene 3

7. security gives way to. Over-confidence makes a way for conspiracy. Have we seen anything to show that Caesar was wholly confident of his own security?

8. lover: friend, -- as frequently in Shakespeare. So later Brutus calls the citizens "Romans, countrymen, and lovers!" and in "The Merchant" Lorenzo speaks of Antonio as "a lover" of Bassanio.

12. Out of the teeth of emulation: safe from the teeth of jealousy; "free from the attacks of envy."

14. contrive: conspire, plot.

How to cite the explanatory notes and scene questions:
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Samuel Thurber. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1919. Shakespeare Online. 26 Feb. 2013. < >.

Scene Questions for Review

microsoft images 1. Of what incidents earlier in the play does this scene remind you?

2. Why do you think this short scene is often omitted when presenting the play today?

3. Do you see any good reason for having the warning written in prose, but the words of Artemidorus that follow in verse?

4. Describe Artemidorus as you imagine his appearance and dress.


More to Explore

 Julius Caesar: The Complete Play with Explanatory Notes
 An Overview of Julius Caesar
 Julius Caesar Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
 Julius Caesar Summary (Acts 3 and 4)
 Julius Caesar Summary (Act 5)

 Julius Caesar Study Questions (with Detailed Answers)
 The Two Themes of Julius Caesar
 Julius Caesar Character Introduction

 Shakespeare's Ethics: Analysis of Julius Caesar
 Blank Verse and Diction in Julius Caesar
 Julius Caesar: Analysis by Act and Scene (and Timeline)


What Makes a Tragic Hero? ... "The hero must have in him something which outweighs his defects and interests us in him so that we care for his fate more than for anything else in the play. The problem then is, why should a picture of the misfortunes of some one in whom we are thus interested afford us any satisfaction? No final answer has yet been found. Aristotle said that the spectacle by rousing in us pity and fear purges us of these emotions, and this remains the best explanation. Just as a great calamity sweeps from our minds the petty irritations of our common life, so the flood of esthetic emotion lifts us above them." Janet Spens. Read on...


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