Julius Caesar


Act 5

Summary: Act V, scene i

On the morning of the battle at Philippi, Antony and Octavius wait with their allied forces for the opposing army. A messenger comes to warn them that Brutus and Cassius approach. Antony instructs Octavius to take his army to the left side of the battlefield, but Octavius asserts himself suddenly and says he will take the right side, while Antony will take the left. Cassius and Brutus enter the scene, and the four generals exchange insults. Finally, Octavius suggests that they get down to the fighting, and exits with Antony and their armies.

Brutus and Cassius fear the outcome of the battle, and that they might never meet again. Cassius asks Brutus what he will do in case of failure, and Brutus says that he will end his own life before allowing Antony to drag him through the streets of Rome and humiliate him. Their farewell to each other is sad and touching.

Summary: Act V, scene ii

In this short scene, Brutus decides to attack Octavius’s forces right away, believing them to be weak. He sends Messala to deliver the message of his intentions to Cassius.

Summary: Act V, scene iii

Cassius enters with Titinius, his good friend. Cassius sees his men retreating from the battle, and Titinius says that Brutus attacked too soon. Titinius believes Brutus’s forces have been wasted, and tells Cassius that they themselves are now surrounded by Antony’s soldiers. Cassius sends Titinius to investigate the soldiers in the distance and determine if they are friends or enemies; and also sends Pindarus after to watch Titinius from the hilltop. Pindarus tells Cassius that Titinius is surrounded by soldiers, and Cassius assumes that Titinius has been taken by the enemy. In fact, the soldiers are those of Brutus, and they were just celebrating their victory over Octavius. Cassius despairs, however, believing Titinius captured, and he has Pindarus kill him with the very sword which he had used to stab Caesar. With his dying breath, Cassius declares...

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Essays About Julius Caesar