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The Events in Brutus’s tent

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The Events in Brutus’s tent (act 4 scenes 2 and 3) have been considered to be the most exciting and engaging episode of the tradgedy play Julius Caesar. This is because the scene is an emotional roller coaster; it starts with an argument between Brutus and Cassius, which slowly builds, to a climax and finally the two reconcile. Then the drama builds again through the announcement of Portia’s death and the arrival and departure of Caesar’s ghost. The variety of events keeps the audience on the edge of their seats one minute and crying with emotion for Brutus the next.

However Despite the tension and high drama in this scene I think that Act 2 Scene 1 is more engaging because of the supernatural goings on and the spooky appearance of the conspirators. Also the quick succession of events (Brutus’s soliloquy, the conspirators entry, Portia’s suspicions) There are a lot of powerful arguments in this scene with powerful and emotive language in them between the conspirators and between Portia and Brutus also Brutus’s argument with himself in his soliloquy. The soliloquy is extremely moving for the audience because they are given an insight into Brutus’s mind.

Act 2 scene 1 is very well structured to ensure that the audience is never bored. The beginning of act 4 scene 2 is very thrilling, the scene has changed from Rome this will get the audience’s attention. There are drumbeats in the background that build up pressure. In the previous scene Anthony was preparing for war which was quite tense for the audience and then a quick change of scene with a dramatic start will have been very exciting for the audience. Brutus is the first character to speak, ‘stand ho! ‘ this is a direct order and immediately gets the audience to focus on what is about to happen with the characters, this is very engaging.

Brutus tells us that he is displeased with Cassius and that he shall find out what is going on. “Your master… Hath given me some worthy cause to wish things Done undone: but if he be at hand, I shall be satisfied” This increases the anticipation of the audience again because they are not sure what is going on with Brutus and Cassius and is left in suspense, the audience hasn’t seen Brutus and Cassius for a while and this provokes their interest, they want to know more. Cassius has sent Pindarus ahead of him this adds to the slow augmentation of unease before Cassius enters.

Brutus asks Lucilius how Cassius had been acting towards him and Lucilius tells him that he has been respectful towards him. “With courtesy and respect enough,” But Lucilius suspects that something is wrong with Cassius because he has not been as friendly as he is usually. “But not with such familiar instance, Nor with such free and friendly conference, As he hath us’d of old” This again re-enforces the idea that something is going to happen between Brutus and Cassius and all the increments of unease become more and more exciting and suspenseful.

When Cassius enters it is a very climatic entry, “stand ho! ” it is also very tense because the soldiers all repeat, “Stand! ” This is the last build up of tension for the audience as Cassius then gets straight to the point this is very sudden and powerful, “most noble brother, you have done me wrong” he says this as if he resents him. Brutus stays calm while Cassius just gets more and more angry, this is typical of their characters and is engaging for the audience because the audience feel like they know the characters.

When Brutus thinks that Cassius is getting dangerously angry he is the voice of reason and ask Cassius to calm down, “speak you grief’s softly” this is incase the armies hear and start to doubt their leaders, Brutus wants a united army and the soldiers shouldn’t hear. Brutus asks Cassius to go and speak privately in his tent, “then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your grief’s” The audience is kept interested because they know something big is about to happen.

In Shakespeare’s day this would be very exciting for the audience because the outer parts of the stage would have the armies on it but in the center of the stage there would be curtains to represent Brutus’ tent so that the audience would see inside the tent but the tent would be blocked off from the rest of the stage and cast. Once inside the tent Cassius keeps the drama going by getting straight to the point again, “That you have wrong’d me doth appear in this” This also reminds the audience what the argument is about.

Cassius is angry at Brutus for having accused him of corruption, Cassius says that Brutus ignored his letters about a man that had been accused of corruption, “You have condemn’d and noted Lucius Pella For taking bribes here of the sardinians; Wherein my letters, praying on his side Because you knew the man, was slighted off” This is engaging for the audience giving them the information they had been waiting for because up until now they were unsure about why Brutus and Cassius were arguing.

Brutus then angers Cassius further by accusing him of taking bribes, “Cassius, you yourself re much condemn’d to have an itching palm” This is tense because this makes the argument about Cassius instead of about Lucius and the audience know that Cassius will be very angry about this. At this point Cassius is very emotional and angry we know this because there is a lot of exclamation in what he says, “an itching palm! “, “chastisement! ” Brutus is calmer and mocks Cassius, “go to! You are not, Cassius”, “Away slight man! ” This will be aggravating Cassius even more and Brutus just laughs it off this is electrifying and quite comical for the audience.

Then Cassius tells Brutus that Caesar would never have stood up to him like Brutus is but Brutus and the audience knows that Cassius never confronted Caesar while he was alive but plotted behind his back this is a reference back to Caesar reminding the audience what has happened in the play. Also Brutus says that Cassius would not have provoked Caeser when he was alive, “you durst not so have tempted him! ” and then they start to squabble about whether Cassius would or wouldn’t have provoked Caeser.

Cassius brings the drama to a climax by offering Brutus his dagger and telling him to cut out his heart out. “There is my dagger and here my naked breast;” Brutus cannot keep up the disapproval of Cassius and laughs at Cassius. “Sheathe your dagger Be angry when you will, it shall have scope; Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor. ” This shows that Brutus cannot stay angry for too long and this is a big release of tension for the audience. When Brutus and Cassius embrace they are very emotionally generous.

Brutus even goes as far as to mention his heart. This will be very moving for the audience as well as a huge release of pressure after all the arguing. The poet’s meddling is a good comic relief and releases more uptightness. But this also shows that Brutus is quite impolite as he dismisses the poet for trying to help him. Just as the audience is feeling relaxed and happy again, Brutus confides in Cassius about Portia’s death making the atmosphere dramatic again, Brutus confides in Cassius to explain to him why he was angry, Oh Cassius I am sick of many grief’s” When Titinius and Messala enter, giving news of Anthony and Octavius back in Rome this reminds the audience about what is going on and brings the audience back to the present.

When Messala tells Brutus that Anthony and Octavius have killed 100 senators it is very powerful , and even more so when Brutus reveals that he has been told that a smaller number of senators have been killed than Messala has been told, Therein our letters do not well agree Mine speak of seventy senators that died” This also is exciting because now the audience know how fast things are moving if the death count in Rome has gone up from seventy to one hundred very quickly. The next part of the play was intended to not be included in the play, Messala tells Brutus that Portia is dead but Brutus already knew this and pretends he didn’t. Shakespeare intended to use Portia’s death to show Brutus’s courage and calmness.

However Brutus comes across here as a bit cold and dismissive of Portia’s death Shakespeare may have not wanted this passage in his final version of this play because we feel sympathy for Brutus when he confides in Cassius but when Brutus says: “Why farewell, Portia. We must die Messala With meditating that she must die once, I have the patience to endure it now” It alienates us because there is hardly any emotion in him and therefore it is difficult for an audience to relate to Brutus or feel sympathy for him. Brutus and Cassius have another difference of opinion about what to do about the battle.

Brutus puts forward some very good points, yet Cassius is not convinced. Brutus has always had more power than Cassius even with the conspirators. Brutus joined them last and although Cassius only involved Brutus so that he could get closer to Caesar and so that other men would follow Brutus but Brutus ended up controlling the plans more than Cassius did. This difference between Brutus and Cassius will be engaging for the audience because it makes them feel like they know the characters if similar patterns in relationships between them are shown in various parts of the story.

Such as the conspirators planning although Cassius is, in theory, the ringleader of the conspirators as soon as they start to plan Brutus becomes the most powerful of the two and ends up making most decisions and overruling Cassius’s opinions. After the murder of Caesar Cassius does not want Mark Anthony to speak at the pulpit but Brutus trust Mark Anthony and again makes the final decision over Cassius and allows Mark Anthony to speak. This is also slightly ironic as that decision brought about the downfall of Brutus and Cassius.

When the ghost of Caeser enters it is highly breathtaking. In Shakespeare’s time people believed that spirits beyond human control governed the world. The ghost of Caesar is a force and it could represent Brutus’s guilt. Brutus felt extremely bad about killing someone that he loved and respected but felt it was for the good of Rome. Now that Rome is worse after Caesar’s death Brutus must be feeling terrible and he might be realizing that what he did was wrong, the spirit even tells Brutus that he is evil, “”thy evil spirit Brutus”.

This part of the play will be very important for the audience in Elizabethan times because of their beliefs in the spirit world. Brutus pays no attention to anything Caesar said, I think that this is a constant theme throughout the play, that Julius Caesar is insignificant to the play and Brutus is undoubtedly the main character of the play despite the misleading title of the play. Julius appears in various people thoughts and dreams but his warnings are paid no attention. Also Mark Anthony declares war, not out of love for Caesar but out of anger towards the conspirotors.

Although all these things I have mentioned are very dramatic and engaging. I believe that act 2 scene 1 of this play is more so because of its quick succession of events, powerful language, and the many themes seen throughout. Also the soliloquy from Brutus is a great insight to his mind which is very engaging for the audience. Act 2 scene1 of the Shakespeare play “Julius Caesar” is very dramatic and engaging especially the opening setting of the scene, the conspirators, the strange happenings during the scene and Portia’s suspicions about Brutus.

The scene begins at night in a storm, this is striking because night time is associated with scary things (things that go bump in the night). The storm is significant because in Shakespeare’s time there was a strong belief in the existence of the supernatural. A storm was seen as a message from God that something bad was happening or about to happen. People were also very religious in Shakespeare’s day. These things being at the beginning of the scene makes the audience prepared for something exciting to happen.

The first thing anyone says is very powerful, “what Lucius ho! this brings the audience away from what is going on with the setting and onto the story again. Brutus’ soliloquy is effectively dramatic because it allows the audience to keep interested because they have a sense of what is going on because Brutus’ is unsure and keeps changing his mind. “it must be by his death” meaning that they must kill Caesar but when Brutus says, “I know no personal cause to spurn at him” He is feeling guilty for what he thinks should be done and is therefore not certain it is the right thing.

Lots of strange things go on throughout the scene, which adds to the exciting atmosphere. During the storm meteors are flying through the air, “The exhalations whizzing in the air” Brutus says, by exhalations he means meteors. Shakespeare’s audiences because of their belief in the supernatural and their belief that anything significant in the skies (weather, meteors) was a sign from Gods would see this as powerful. Also a letter appears in Brutus’ closet and his servant did not see it there a while ago, “it did not lie there when I went to bed”.

This means that someone must have been up to deliver it secretly very late at night and was not noticed by Brutus or his servants and family. When Lucius informs Brutus that the conspirators have arrived it is very tense because Brutus answers him in very short sentences, “Is he alone”, “Do you know them? ” This is a good build up before the conspirators actually enter. The fact that Lucuis doesn’t know who the conspirators are is very exciting and powerful because they are hidden, “Their hats are plucked about their ears And half their faces buried in their cloaks”

This is tense because people fear what they don’t know or understand however Brutus suspects and is almost certain that the hidden people are the conspirators because he knows they want him to join and they have something to hide. We see Brutus being unsure of what he is doing again because he does not see him self as part of them, “they are the faction”. They meaning not we. This lets the audience engage with the character of Brutus again possibly even sympathize with him more than the other conspirators because he is the only conspirator not to gain anything from the plot to murder Caesar.

Everything about the conspirators is dramatic like the way they are out very late at night in a storm, hidden. When the conspirators first enter it is the first time the audience has seen them all together and Shakespeare cleverly introduces them to the audience one by one through Cassius introducing them to Brutus this is again another moment that effectively involves the audience in the play. Cassius takes Brutus aside to tell him something that he doesn’t want the other conspirators to hear.

We never find out what this is but maybe Shakespeare wanted to enforce the fact that the other conspirators are not as important as Cassius and Brutus who are the main characters in the play. When Brutus and Cassius rejoin the group it is significant and dramatic because this is when the audience are certain that Brutus is a part of the conspirators because he wishes to shake their hands and have them accept him “give me your hands all over, one by one”. This part of the play will be very thought provoking because the audiences opinion of Brutus may change after he is a conspirator.

Brutus’s speech explaining his actions is full of powerful language. The alliteration re-enforces how strongly he feels that what they are doing is mandatory and not out of greed for power, “The sufferance of our souls”, “cowards and men cautelous, Old feeble carrions. “, “That welcome wrongs”. He uses rhetorical questions to persuade us that his speech is truth, “To prick us to redress? “, “And will not palter? “. In the plotting of Casears murder we see how different Brutus and Cassius are in the way that Cassius is supposed to be the leader but is very passive and allows Brutus to take charge.

When Brutus and Cassius are arguing about allowing Cicero to join the assassination conspiracy. Cassius thinks that Cicero is a good and honorable man that should be included, but as soon as he nominates Cicero to join the group, Brutus steps in and says, “O, name him not! Let us not break with him, For he will never follow anything That other men begin” Instead of contesting Brutus, Cassius just lets it pass and concedes to not permitting Cicero to join the group. Although this particular argument isn’t pivotal to the plot, it augments how Brutus dominates what decisions are made.

Brutus and Cassius are also very different in the way they perceive Anthony. Brutus is very trusting and nai?? ve when he judges Anthony. When the subject of killing Anthony comes up among the conspirators, Brutus underestimates how dangerous Anthony could be and says, “For Anthony is but a limb of Caesar” This statement means Brutus does not think it is necessary to kill Anthony and he thinks that without Caesar, Anthony is worthless. This is ironic as Anthony later becomes a massive problem and yet Cassius still allows Brutus to make military decisions against him.

The audience will be judging Brutus and Cassius at this point and some may believe Cassius is right and some that Brutus is right. It is dramatic because the audience can see these differences between Brutus and Cassius and will know that eventually this will cause problems between them. We see that in Act 4 scenes 2 and 3. The clock striking three is startling and also reminds everyone how spooky it is that all this plotting is going on at this time. Now that the audience knows the plot it is suspenseful because they will want to know how it turns out.

When Portia enters it is striking because we know something that the character doesn’t. Also we see another side of Brutus, while he is trying to hide the conspiracy, he doesn’t like upsetting her he flatters her. “Good Portia go to bed” He acts worried about her, “It is not for your health thus to commit Your weak condition to the raw cold morning. ” There is a romantic moment in all this which will help the audiences sympathy for Brutus and possibly restore the opinion that he is a good man in those that thought his decision to join the conspiracy was wrong, You are my true and honorable wife, As dear to me as are the ruddy drops That visit my sad heart” This show of love is a theme all through the play this is shown through love between husband and wife (Brutus and Portia, Caesar and Calphurnia) also love for a country (Rome).

Eventually he agrees to tell her what is going on later. All this is different to the strong and valiant conspirator Brutus, here we see him as a loving husband. In Conclusion, Shakespeare’s use of language and structure is very effectively dramatic and manages to gradually build up tension and then release it a little.

This ensures that the audience is never given a chance to get bored. The use of dramatic irony, the supernatural and indecision in the characters all combine to keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout both these scenes. Both scenes are very powerful and effectively dramatic but despite the emotional roller coaster in Act 4 scenes 2 and 3, in my opinion Act 2 scene 1 was more dramatic and engaging for the audience because of the atmosphere that is created by the setting and outside influences.

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