Act II - Scene III

[A street near the Capitol.]

Enter Artemidorus, [reading paper.]

ARTEMIDORUS:
“Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius;
come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not
Trebonius; mark it well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus
loves thee not; thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is
but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Caesar.(5)
If thou beest not immortal, look about you. Security gives
way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee!
Thy lover, Artemidorus.”
Here will I stand till Caesar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.(10)
My heart laments that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.
If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayest live;
If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive.

Exit.

Footnotes

  1. Like many of the characters in Julius Caesar, Artemidorus has a precarious notion of fate. On the one hand, he chooses to take matters into his own hands by warning Caesar of the conspiracy. On the other, he acknowledges that fate alone will decide whether Caesar gets the message.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Artemidorus characterizes Caesar as virtue personified and the conspirators as emulation. In this case, “emulation” refers to rivalry or competition rather than imitation.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. What is the most likely reason Shakespeare included this brief scene in Act II?

    — Susan Hurn