Act II Scene ii



In this Scene:
Caesar, Calphurnia, Servant of Caesar, Decius, Publius, Antony, Trebonius

Summary
Calphurnia has a terrible nightmare about Caesar's death. The dream is about a statue of Caesar spurting out blood all down his body. Calphurnia is very worried about this dream and fears that it may become a reality when Caesar leaves for the Capitol. She does everything in her power to make sure that Caesar stays home and misses the ceremony. Eventually, Calphurnia convinces Caesar to stay home and tells the Decius it was her idea. After all the effort Calphurnia went through to convince Caesar to say home from the senate, Decius arrives at their home and uses his wit to win Caesar over. Although, Caesar is a loyal and understanding husband, he does have a major ego. Decius of course utilizes this for the good of the conspirators. He uses Caesar's large ego to his advantage and convinces him to leave the house; against what Calphurnia wants. He tells Caesar, "Break up the Senate till another time, when Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams. If Caesar hide himself shall they not whisper. 'Lo, Caesar is afraid?" (Act II ii 98-101). This was too much for Caesar to handle, and he eventually gives in.


Pictures & Explanations
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Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, is trying to persuade him to not go to the Senate on the Ides of March.
This actor portrays Decius
This actor portrays Decius

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
The brave only die once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard
Of all the things I have heard
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
It seems strange to me that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Since death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Will come when it will come.
(ll.34-39)

The gods do this in shame of cowardice.

The gods do this to shame lack of bravery.
Caesar should be a beast without a heart
They are saying Caesar should be a beast without a heart
If I should stay at home today for fear.
If he should stay at home today for fear,
No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
No, I won’t. Danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
That I am more dangerous that it is
We are two lions littered in one day,
We are two lions born so the same litter
And I the elder and more terrible.
And I am the older and more terrible one
And Caesar shall go forth.

And I go.
(ll.44-51)

This dialogue that Caesar has shows how he truly believes that nothing will happen to him; that this is just a test from the gods. He thinks that once he passes all of these obstacles, he will be rewarded in the end. He pushes away everyone’s warnings due to his strong belief in this fact as well as his undeniable hubris.


How is Caesar convinced?

In this act, Caesar is not at all convinced to go to the Senate House. He has been warned enough to figure that something will happen if he goes. By the end of the scene, Decius Brutus has completely abolished Caesar's fears and takes him to the Senate House that day, where of course he will be eventually assassinated. So what did Decius say?

First point: "Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause, Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so." (ll. 69-70)

Decius starts out small. What he is doing, is that he is slowly getting under Caesar's skin trying to convince him that everything he has heard, every warning he has been given is plainly foolish and silly. To this, Caesar responds by explaining a dream of Calphurnia's that worries him. In this dream, the statue of Caesar spouted blood, which the citizens of Rome bathed in.

Second point: "This dream is all amiss interpreted; It was a vision fair and fortunate: Your statue spouting blood in many pipes, in which so many smiling Romans bathed, signifies that from you great Rome shall suck reviving blood, and that great men shall press for tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance. This by Calphurnia's dream is signified." (ll. 83-90)

Now Decius is flat out manipulating Caesar. Caesar trusts Decius, but Decius is basically the conspirator leading Caesar to his death. Being his wife, Calphurnia's warning to Caesar is the largest warning in Caesar's mind. To convince Caesar to go with him, Decius must break the contemplation on this dream, and by interpreting it positively, Caesar begins to realize the "foolishness" in all of these warnings.

Third point: "And know it now, the Senate have concluded to give this day a crown to mighty Caesar. If you shall send them word you will not come, their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock apt to be rendered, for someone to say 'Break up the Senate till another time, when Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.' If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper 'Lo, Caesar is afraid'? Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear dear love to your proceeding bids me to tell you this, and reason to my love is liable." (ll. 93-104)

This is the third and final blow to Caesar's worried mind. He is definitely power hungry and overconfident. So the idea of the crown is very prominent in his mind. So what does Decius do? He taunts Caesar with the idea that if he doesn't go, the senate will change its mind and not give Caesar the crown, and that they'll even feel that he is a coward.

Caesar's response?:

"How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia! I am ashamed I did yield to them Give me my robe, for I will go." (ll. 104-107)

Decius Brutus, in three points, completely flips Caesar's beliefs of danger. And yet, Decius is leading Caesar directly to his death.