"How many ages hence/Shall this be our lofty scene be acted over/In statres unborn and accents yet unknown."What does this quote mean in Julius Casear Act 3 Scene 1?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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These lines are spoken by Cassius after he and the other conspirators have assassinated Julius Caesar.  Since there is a panic that follows this act, Brutus, as leader of the conspirators, reassures them, "Ambition's debt is paid" (3.1.91).  In order to mark themselves as the men who have given Rome "Peace, freedom, and liberty" (3.1.89), Brutus instructs the men to "bathe" their hands in Caesar's blood and "besmear" their swords before they walk to the market place. Then, in the thrill of this moment of glory for them, Cassius encourages the others to follow Brutus's directions.  His words indicate that he believes that they will be praised by the Romans for relieving them of a tyrant, and in recognition of the greatness of the conspirators, their act of freeing Rome from the rule of Julius Caesar will be reenacted throughout the world.  Of course, Cassius's declaration is ironic as Antony turns the Romans against the conspirators and they riot, causing a civil war that is far worse than the rule of Julius Caesar.

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