Julius Caesar | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Julius Caesar | Act 4, Scene 2 | Summary

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Summary

Brutus has fled Rome and is in a camp near Sardis, preparing for battle. He wants to speak to Cassius, but fears Cassius's distant formality toward Brutus's servant is a sign that their friendship is cooling.

He's right. Cassius, who enters the camp with his soldiers, is angry and claims Brutus has done him wrong. Brutus denies this claim. The two generals go to talk privately.

Analysis

The audience knows that Brutus and Cassius have lost the battle before they've begun to fight. Brutus and Cassius know this too. For the rest of the play, they'll focus less on idealism and more on battle strategy.

As the characters deal with the chaos after Caesar's death, Shakespeare focuses on a turning point in Brutus's and Cassius's friendship and prepares the audience for changes to come. Cassius is growing tired of Brutus's insistence on always doing the right thing. Brutus's calm façade is crumbling under anxiety. Nevertheless, Brutus maintains his resistance to showing emotion by refusing to argue in front of his soldiers. He wants them to see the noble Brutus he's trying to be.

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