Julius Caesar


Significant Quotations

1. “Caesar: Let me have men about me that are fat,

Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep anights.

Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.

He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

Antony: Fear him not, Caesar, he’s not dangerous.

He is a noble Roman, and well given.

Caesar: Would he were fatter! But I fear him not.

Yet if my name were liable to fear,

I do not know the man I should avoid

So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,

He is a great observer, and he looks

Quite through the deeds of men.

…I rather tell thee what is to be feared

Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar” (I.ii.193-213)

This early speech of Caesar’s to Antony reveals several important things about the character of Cassius as well as Caesar’s character. First, we learn that Cassius is particularly observant and insightful, able to perceive men’s motivations. Cassius will indeed make use of this gift in manipulating Brutus and the others to join with the conspiracy. The speech also exposes Caesar’s great weakness—his arrogance and belief in his own infallibility. Although Caesar is perceptive enough to see that he should not trust Cassius, he believes so strongly in his own invincibility that he will not admit fear, nor do anything to keep Cassius out of his inner circle. Caesar’s inability to heed the warning signs will, of course, prove his undoing.

2. “Brutus: It must be by his death. And for my part

I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

But for the general. He would be crowned.

How that might change his nature, there’s the question.

It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,

And that craves wary walking. Crown him: that!

And then I grant we put a sting in him

That at his will he may do danger...

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Essays About Julius Caesar