Presentation on theme: "Act One. As the play opens, Flavius and Marullus, two tribunes (officials whose job it is to keep order in the streets), meet two citizens, a carpenter."— Presentation transcript:
As the play opens, Flavius and Marullus, two tribunes (officials whose job it is to keep order in the streets), meet two citizens, a carpenter and a cobbler, who are dressed in their best. In earlier days, a workman in the street was required to wear clothes that indicated his profession. When questioned about their clothes, the two reply that they have come out to celebrate Caesar’s return to Rome. They are obviously in a happy mood. However they are scolded by the tribunes, who insult them and remind them that it was not so long ago that they honored their previous ruler, Pompey, by cheering him as he passed by. They are accused of being disloyal now, and are ordered back to their houses.
Caesar arrives, surrounded by a crowd. He hears the voice of a Soothsayer, or fortune teller, calling to him from the throng, and he orders the fellow to appear. He emerges from the crowd and warns Caesar to beware the Ides of March, a date in mid-month when he will be in danger. Caesar decides to ignore the strange man and his warning.
Cassius, a citizen who fears Caesar’s desire for power, talks to Brutus, a friend of Caesar and a prominent Roman known for his honor and integrity. Cassius declares that each of them is as good as Caesar, and entitled to the same freedoms. He relates an incident from earlier days when Caesar challenged him to a swimming race across the river Tiber in full armor. In the middle of the river, Caesar weakened, called to Cassius for help, and had to be carried to shore. It angers Cassius that he must now bow to this man, whom he considers a weakling, but who has been elevated to a position of power.
Cassius is gathering a group of Roman citizens who share his distrust of Caesar and who will join in a conspiracy to kill the Roman leader. He has recruited Cinna and Casca, and is hoping Brutus will join the group and lead it. He works on Brutus’ feelings by telling him that men are not fated to be underlings (servants), and if they are, it is their own fault, not the fault of the stars. Brutus does not commit himself, but says he will think about all this.
Caesar is suspicious of Cassius, calling him “lean and hungry.” Mark Antony, Caesar’s loyal friend, tries to reassure him, but Caesar replies that Cassius has no interest in theater or music and seldom smiles. Caesar believes such men are dangerous.
Casca describes for Brutus how Mark Antony had offered a crown to Caesar three times and how the crowd had cheered each time. Caesar rejected the crown, but Casca believes that in his heart Caesar truly wanted it because he really wants to be a king.
A little later, Casca meets Cicero, a public official called a senator, and describes for him a series of strange events that appear to be omens of violence: a slave whose hand seemed to be on fire but who was unburned, a lion who wandered calmly through the streets, strange women who claimed to have seen men walking engulfed in flames, and an owl, usually a night bird, hooting and shrieking in the marketplace at noon.
ONE SPEAKER: THREE SPEAKERS: CassiusCassius, Casca and Cinna Casca, Brutus and Cassius TWO SPEAKERS: FOUR SPEAKERS: Marullus and the cobblerFlavius, Marullus, two citizens Marullus and FlaviusCaesar, Casca, Brutus, Soothsayer Brutus and Cassius Caesar and Mark Antony Casca and Cicero
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