Julius Caesar


Act 4

Summary: Act IV, scene i

Antony, Octavius and Lepidus have formed an alliance called the Second Triumvirate, whose goal is to take over the rule of Rome. They meet at Antony’s house, where they go over a list of Romans they have marked for death, including a brother of Lepidus and Antony’s nephew. Antony sends Lepidus off to get Caesar’s will, so that they can decide how to alter it to better serve their own purposes. Antony remarks to Octavius that Lepidus is only good for running errands, and advises that they should cut him out of the Triumvirate as soon as they are finished using him as a servant. Octavius defends Lepidus, saying he is a good soldier, but Antony dismisses this argument scornfully, saying that Lepidus has all the qualities of Antony’s horse and, like his horse, should be ordered and used, but not given any power. Antony then turns the subject to the growing armies of Cassius and Brutus, and he and Octavius begin making plans to fight them.

Summary: Act IV, scene ii

At Brutus’s army camp near Sardis (now part of western Turkey), Brutus pulls Lucillius aside to ask how he was received by Cassius. Lucillius reports that Cassius was polite, but not as friendly as he used to be, and Brutus worries that his bond with Cassius is growing weak. Cassius soon marches into Sardis with his own army and confronts Brutus, saying that Brutus has wronged him. Brutus defends himself, saying he could never wrong his brother, and urges Cassius to speak with him privately in his tent. They send their soldiers away for privacy.

Inside the tent, Cassius rages at Brutus for having punished one of his men for taking bribes, in spite of a letter from Cassius asking him not to. Brutus says that Cassius’s defense of the man was not noble, and then accuses Cassius himself of taking bribes. He reminds Cassius of their decision to assassinate Caesar because they believed Caesar was corrupt, and bitterly asks if Cassius intends that they should now, themselves, sink to the level of...

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Essays About Julius Caesar