« ElőzőTovább »
litical mistakes. As usual, Cassius' advice was the better. Cf. on ii, 1, 162,
234. In his funeral : This preposition seems odd to-day in such a connection.
237. I will myself into : See above, line 218.
239. What Antony shall speak : The most vivid form of the hypothesis of a future conditional sentence. We now say, rather, “What Antony speaks.”
244. Fall : happen. See Introduction, $ 41, and v, 1, 104: “For fear of what might fall.”
246. You shall not in your funeral speech blame us : At first, in his speech, Antony obeys this injunction, at least in the letter.
258. The tide of times : Tide originaliy meant time, as in springtide, eventide, etc. In Shakspere's day, however, the word had acquired its modern meaning ; cf. (iv, 3, 216–7): “ There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood,” etc.
259. Costly : rare, precious.
260. Over thy wounds now do I prophesy : As this speech is ordinarily rendered in the theatre it falls but little short of the veriest rant, especially toward the end.
261. Their ruby lips : To modern ears, at least, this seems another of Antony's insincere figures.
265. Cumber : more commonly encumber.
274. Cry“ Havoc”: In old times, the signal that no quarter would be given.
274. The dogs of war : Steele (Tatler, 137) suggests that these are “ fire, sword, and famine.” Cf. Henry V, i, chor. 5:
" Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars ; and, at his heels,
276. Carrion men : Cf. ii, 1, 130: “Old feeble carrions." 281. Bid : See Introduction, S 16.
284. Passion : sorrow. Cf. i, 2, 39–40 : “ Vexed I am, Of late with passions of some difference.”
290. No Rome of safety : The same pun, say some editors, that we find in i, 2, 156: “Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,” Shak: spere to-day would hardly put this sort of quibble in the mouths of men so earnest as Cassius and Antony were supposed to be.
295. Issue : deed ; perhaps, point at issue.
296. The which : For the definite article before the relative, see Introduction, $ 8.
298. Exeunt with Cæsar's body : Rowe's stage direction. The Folio says merely Exeunt.
The Folio reads, Enter Brutus and goes into the Pulpit, and Cassius, with the Plebeians. The material for this, the great acting scene of the play, is found in North’s Plutarch, The Life of Brutus (ed. Skeat, pp. 120–21):
“A great number of men being assembled together, Brutus made an oration unto them, to win the favour of the people, and to justify that they had done. All those that were by said they had done well, and cried unto them that they should boldly come down from the Capitol; whereupon Brutus and his companions came boldly down into the market-place. The rest followed in troop, but Brutus went foremost, very honourably compassed in round about with the noblest men of the city, which brought him from the Capitol through the market-place, to the pulpit for orations. When the people saw him in the pulpit, although they were a multitude of all sorts, and had a good will to make some stir; yet, being ashamed to do it, for the reverence they bare unto Brutus, they kept silence to hear what he would say. When Brutus began to speak, they gave him quiet audience: howbeit, immediately after, they shewed him that they were not all contented with the murder. For when another, called Cinna, would have spoken, and began to accuse Cæsar, they fell into a great uproar among them, and marvellously reviled him; insomuch that the conspirators returned again into the Capitol.” Furthermore,
'They came to talk of Cæsar's will and testament, and of his funerals and tomb. Then Antonius, thinking good his testament should be read openly, and also that his body should be honourably buried, and not in hugger-mugger, lest the people might thereby take occasion to be worse offended if they did otherwise; Cassius stoutly spoke against it. But Brutus went with the motion, and agreed unto it; wherein it seemeth he committed a second fault. For the first fault he did, was when he would not consent to his fellow-conspirators, that Antonius should be slain; and therefore he was justly accused, that thereby he had saved and strengthened a strong and grievous enemy of their conspiracy. The second fault was when he agreed that Cæsar's funerals should be as Antonius would have them, the which, indeed, marred all. For, first of all, when Cæsar's testament was openly read among them, whereby it appeared that he bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome 75 drachmas a man; and that he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the river Tiber, in the place where now the temple of Fortune is built; the people then loved him, and were marvellous sorry for him. Afterwards, when Cæsar's body was brought into the market-place, Antonius making his funeral oration in praise of the dead, according to the ancient custom of Rome, and perceiving that his words moved the common people to compassion, he framed his eloquence to make their hearts yearn the more ; and taking Cæsar's gown all bloody in his hand, he laid it open to the sight of them all, shewing what a number of cuts and holes it had upon it. Therewithal the people fell presently into such a rage and mutiny, that there was no more order kept amongst the common people. For some of them cried out “Kill the murderers'; others plucked up forms, tables, and stalls about the market-place, as they had done before at the funerals of Clodius, and having laid them all on a heap together, they set them on fire, and thereupon did put the body of Cæsar, and burnt it in the midst of the most holy places. And furthermore, when the fire was thoroughly kindled, some here, some there, took burning firebrands and ran with them to the murderers' houses that killed him, to set them on fire. Howbeit the conspirators, foreseeing the danger before, had wisely provided for themselves and fled.”
1. Citizens : The Folio has Ple. At line 8, the direction is 1. Ple. After that the citizens are indicated merely by the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc.
7. And public reasons shall be rendered : And reasons shall be publicly rendered ?
11. Is ascended : Shakspere uses the auxiliary be with many verbs that to-day take have, almost invariably. Cf.“ My life is run his compass” (v, 3, 25).
13. Lovers : used in Shakspere for friends. So, in line 44, Brutus speaks of Cæsar as his best lover "; Menenius in Coriolanus (v, 2, 14) says to the Volscian sentinel, “Thy general is my lover; and in Troilus and Cressida (iii, 3, 214) Ulysses says to Achilles, “I as your lover speak.”
13. Hear me for my cause, etc. : This speech of Brutus is in great contrast to that of Antony immediately following. It is rather the effort of a man who wishes to convince an audience of the reasonableness of his cause than that of a demagogue trying to influence vast crowds to his way of thinking. It is cold and studied, where Antony's is filled with fiery eloquence of a sort bound to sway the people. Brutus was so sure of the justice of his own cause that he fancied the Romans needed but to hear his side logically stated to be convinced. As to the compendious and balanced style, see note on i, 2, 162. Can you give any reason for the speech's being in prose ?
16. Censure : judge.
28. Who is here so base that would be : Do you feel the omission of the subject of would be in this and the following sentences of similar structure?
43. Which of you shall not: Which in this form of question gen. erally means " which of two."
44. My best lover : See note on line 13, above.
49. A statue, with his ancestors : Comment on this idea of Brutus' ancestry and its dramatic value.
57. And grace his speech : The reference of this his is decidedly confusing.
61. Save I alone : Comment on the form of the pronoun.
63. The public chair : One the rostra referred to as pulpits,” in iii, 1, 80.
65. Beholding : The modern form is beholden.
68. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here : He had better speak no harm, etc.—Note the hostility of the audience Antony had to face, and observe the clever and cautious way in which he sets to work to win it to his side. He comes to “bury Cæsar, not to praise him”; he will not “ do wrong” to Brutus—to whose party this crowd happens to think it belongs. But before he has spoken more than three or four hundred words the crowd finds “there is much reason in his sayings,” and “ some will dear abide the murder.” From that time on the mob is Antony's, and he moulds it to his will. This speech is one of the great examples of what a skilled orator can do with a hostile audience; none the less great because it is, as it stands, Shakspere's and not the real Antony's. Wright points out that in this mob the fourth citizen was Brutus' great partisan.
75. The evil that men do lives after them : In connection with this, reference is frequently made to Henry VIII (iv, 2, 45-6): “Men's evil manners live in brass ; their virtues We write in water.”
79. If it were so : Antony here subtly shows the impossibility of the contingency by the form in which he clothes it.
95. On the Lupercal : The Lupercal was not a hill, as Shakspere seems to think, but a cave or grotto ; perhaps, however, Shakspere means on or at the Lupercalia—the feast of Lupercal. Antony, of course, is referring to the events described by Casca, in the second scene of the first act of our play.
103. What cause withholds you then to mourn for him : withholds-holds back. To mourn is again the gerund used for the infinitive. See on to hear, i, 1, 49.
108. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings : Note in these speeches of the citizens how great an effect the artful Antony has created by his seemingly simple grief.
114. Dear abide it : See Introduction, § 13.
115. Red as fire : This simile is well put in the mouth of the citizen. “Cold as ice,” “hot as fire,” etc., are the usual heights of similitude with “the vulgar.”
120. And none so poor to do him reverence : And none so poor as to do, etc. The line probably means that even the poorest is now too high to reverence Cæsar.
127. Than I will wrong: an unexpected construction. We should have looked for the conclusion “than (to) wrong,” etc.
133. Napkins : handkerchiefs. Those who have read Othello will remember how prominent a part Desdemona’s lost “napkin" plays in the plot. This scene of Antony's imagination recalls Calpurnia's dream (ii, 2, 76 ff.). Compare also the magniloquent words of Brutus and Cassius just after the murder (iii, 1, 106 ff.). The idea of bathing in the martyred Cæsar's blood seems to have strongly impressed Shakspere's fancy.
138. We'll hear the will : Antony has now “ got the crowd where he wants it.”
141. Meet : fitting.
150. I have o'ershot myself : I have gone beyond what I intended ; the result is beyond what I anticipated.
153. They were traitors : Antony now has won the fourth citizen entirely and absolutely.
162. He comes down from the pulpit : Rowe's stage direction. 168. Bear back : fall back ; move farther off.