Act II

Summary

Right before dawn on the ides of March, Brutus walks in his garden, unable to sleep, thinking over the decision he has to make. He receives a letter from Cassius, signed anonymously, telling him to act on Rome's behalf. Cassius and the conspirators meet up with Brutus and make their final plans. Brutus' wife, Portia, wakes up because of a storm. Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, wakes up because of a horrible dream. Caesar wants to go to the Capitol, but Calphurnia convinces him to stay with her at home because of the threatening dream that she had. Caesar, not wanting to hurt Calphurnia's feelings, stays home until Decius convinces him that he must not be afraid of his wife's dream and that is was all nonsense. The other conspirators meet at Caesar's to make sure that he did not decide to stay home and Caesar heads to the capitol. Artemidorus, one of Caesar's supporters, now knows about the plan to kill Caesar. Artemidorus writes a letter warning Caesar not to go the capitol. He decides to wait in the street for Caesar to pass by so he can give it to him. Portia sends servant, Lucius, to go and see what is happening at the Capitol because she does not feel completely happy with what is happening. She then meets the Soothsayer, who makes her feel even more nervous as he predicts the death of Caesar.

  • Scene I - Brutus suddenly wakes from a deep sleep and calls Lucius over. Brutus then begins to talk about his plan to kill Julius Caesar. He goes on to say that after he gets crowned, they will strike to kill Caesar because they fear Caesar had to much power. Then Brutus also realizes that he wants that power. However, Brutus is also nervous on what the people of Rome's reaction will be. Soon, many people start to arrive at Brutus' house. (This is when the true colors of Casca's personality and his manipulative ways comes out.) Next, the conspirators start questioning each other and the true plan. They come to a mutual decision that they don't like Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. But Brutus convinces the other conspirators that Antony is powerless without Caesar. Brutus starts to have indecisive feelings about killing Caesar and Decius tries to convince the others he should be the one to fetch Caesar for the ceremony. However, they decide to all go together. Brutus then talks to Portia and she knows that something is up. But Brutus won't tell her anything and she becomes angry at him but still loves him. (more detailed summary and other useful analysis of this scene here http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+II+Scene+1)
  • Scene II - This scene starts off with Calpurnia waking up from a horrible dream and shows her concerns for Caesar. She believes something bad will happen to him at the Senate. Caesar says he isn't afraid and will still go to the Senate. However, after a little bit more convincing, he becomes a little nervous and decides he will to stay at home. Calpurnia then explains that her dream gave her the warning about Caesar being in danger. The conspirators come over to pick up Caesar for the ceremony and he becomes covinced that if he doesn't go he will be considered a coward and wimp, how is he to tell the Senate he is not going to go because of a mere dream his wife had the night prior? (more detailed summary and other useful analysis of this scene here http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+II+Scene+2 and at http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+2+-+Scene+2)

Caesar_&_Calpurnia.jpg
Caesar & Calpurnia as they speak.
http://www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/shakespeare/jca.jpg

  • Scene III - In this scene one of Caesar's friends, Artemidorus, walks onto the stage and begins to unravel a letter written by himself. His goal is to advise Caesar to be cautious and alert towards the conspirators, specifically Casca and Brutus. In addition he states "The Mighty gods defend thee!", showing a postive ambition towards Caesar. However, he hopes Caesar reads the letter and takes action, for his ideal advise is for Caesar to live. (more detailed summary and other useful analysis of this scene here http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+II+Scene+3 and at http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+2+Scene+3)
    Art..jpg
    Artemidorous: always looking out for Caesar

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2236/1745737656_babe94ce7f.jpg

  • Scene IV - To close up the scene, Portia sends Lucius, Brutus' servant, to receive feedback from Caesar's expedition to the Senate's House. Furthermore, she orders him straightaway to the Capitol and questions the Soothsayer if Caesar has reached his destination yet. Soothsayer then states he has not yet gone to the Capitol, however the Soothsayer is willing to standby Caesar's route hoping he has a chance to speak with him. Lastly, Portia leaves the order to the Soothsayer and Lucius to observe Caesar's journey, and decides to take further action. (more detailed summary and other useful analysis of this scene here http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+II+Scene+4)
    Portia.jpg
    Here is a picture of Portia, as you can see she can look very innocent, but deep inside she is very valorous.












    The Graphics Fairy. 29 Apr. 2009 <http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CarNcodpCMA/SHAOjJhDh-I/AAAAAAAABbs/PnhSQwDF2J4/s400/1aportia001.jpg>.

Characters

Brutus
Brutus
This is Brutus, he plays a major role in Act II. He has many vital decisions to make, which are often life changing. Throughout the Act he is being convinced by many people on what to do. His main problem on making decisions is his conscience. He knows what he wants to do. However, he over analyzes the situation and he changes his mind a lot because he does not know if he will be able to live with himself for some of the things he might do. Cassius tricks him into thinking the Roman people hate Caesar and want him assassinated by writing false letters to Brutus as Roman citizens.

http://www.livius.org/a/1/romanempire/brutus_palmas.jpg

(Detailed Explanation of the Main Characters in Act II found here http://juliuscaesar-at-chaminade.wikispaces.com/Act+II+Characters )

Pictures & Explanations The picture bellow portrays Act II, scene ii, when Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, is begging Caesar to remain home in order to stay safe. She has a dream that a statue of Caesar, "which like a fountain with an hundred spouts, did run pure blood, and many lusty Romans came smiling and did bathe their hands in it" (ll. 77-79). Along with this he recieves a letter from Artemidorus warning about the rising conspiritors out to kill him. He reads it but takes no action towards it . Another event, Caesar is confronted with the same idea is with the Soothesayer. He tells him, "Beware the Ides of March," where Caesar will be killed. But as before he remains stern and does not take the subject into his head. Caesar recieves the warnnings but lacked the wisdom of taking advice and let his pride and hubris take control.
Calphurnia begging Caesar to stay home
Calphurnia begging Caesar to stay home
file:///Users/Connor/Pictures/calpurnia24v-o.jpg
This modern group of actors re-enacts the plotting of the assassination of Caesar
This modern group of actors re-enacts the plotting of the assassination of Caesar

  • Complete Video of Act II[1]
  • The video bellow is a complete re-enactment of Act II done by a couple of students. They decided to go with a puppet show. Hope you enjoy!!!!

  • Here is another re-enactment of Act 2, also done by students. This time, instead of puppets, it is live action. It has also been adapted to modern times. Enjoy!

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Sources -Bag, Amartya. Julius Caesar Play Web Guide - AllJuliusCaesar. 04. 29 Apr. 2009 <http://www.alljuliuscaesar.bravehost.com>. Description to Scene III & Scene IV