*4 Read this excerpt, and then answer the question that follows it:
Caesar: Are we all ready? What is now amiss
That Caesar and his Senate must redress?
Metellus: Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart. [Kneeling.
Caesar: I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree
Into the law of children. Be not fond
To think that Caesar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw’d from the true quality
With that which melteth fools – I mean, sweet words,
Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished;
If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Caesar doth not wrong; nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
Metellus: Is there no voice more worthy than my own
To sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s ear
For the repealing of my banish’d brother?
Brutus: I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar,
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
Caesar: What, Brutus!
Cassius: Pardon, Caesar! Caesar, pardon!
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
Caesar: I could be well mov’d, if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumb’red sparks,
They are all fire, and every one doth shine;
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place.
So in the world: ’tis furnish’d well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak’d of motion; and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this –
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Cinna: O Caesar!
Caesar: Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus?
Decius: Great Caesar!
Caesar: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
Casca: Speak, hands, for me!
[They stab Caesar. Casca strikes the first, Brutus the last blow.
Caesar: Et tu, Brute? – Then fall, Caesar!
How does Shakespeare make this such a dramatically powerful moment in the play? Support your ideas with details from the writing.
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