In Julius Caesar, who is Lucius?

4 Answers | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

Posted on

Lucius is a young boy who is a servant to Brutus. He may be a slave-boy. His main function in the play seems to be to give Brutus, and later Portia, someone to talk to in scenes where otherwise these characters would be all alone and would either have to remain silent or indulge in more soliloquies. If a character is all alone on a stage, the audience has no way of knowing what he or she is thinking or feeling (unless they tells us in a soliloquy). Although Lucius is obviously very young, he seems to hold an important position in Brutus's household. He is treated like a favorite. Both Brutus and Portia rely on him and trust him. In Act 2, Scene 4, it is Lucius, a mere boy, whom Portia sends to the Senate House to see what her husband is doing and report back to her. This scene is engaging because it is both crucial and comical. Portia wants Lucius to run post-haste to the Senate House but can't tell him why she is sending him there.

PORTIA
I prithee, boy, run to the Senate House,
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone!
Why dost thou stay?

LUCIUS
To know my errand, madam.

PORTIA
I would have had thee there and here again
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.

Portia is by now fully informed about the assassination plot against Julius Caesar. Brutus succumbs to her pleadings in Act 2. Scene 1, and tells her:

Hark, hark, one knocks. Portia, go in awhile,
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste.

The playwright does not show Brutus doing as he promises because that would be redundant. The audience already knows all the secrets of Brutus's heart. Portia has obviously been fully informed as her husband promised. However, she must keep strict secrecy and cannot tell Lucius that she wants him to hurry to the Senate House because she wants to learn whether her husband's plot against Caesar is successful or thwarted.

Brutus has to flee from Rome because of Antony's inflammatory funeral speech. Brutus takes Lucius with him, and Lucius appears again in Act 4, Scene 2 in Brutus's tent in his army's camp near Sardis. Lucius acts as Brutus's personal servant and keeps him company after Cassius and all the others are gone. At Brutus's request, Lucius plays a stringed instrument and sings for him.

Lucius plays a tune and sings a song. He slowly falls asleep, and as he does so, the music stops.

Here again, Lucius gives Brutus someone to talk to. When Lucius falls asleep, Brutus is effectively alone again, but then the Ghost of Caesar enters almost immediately.

Sources:
kipling2448's profile pic

Posted on

In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Lucius is Brutus' servant, a young boy who is introduced to the audience at the beginning of Act II, Scene I, when his master summons him, having awaken in the night and unsure of the time.  Brutus orders Lucius to retrieve a candle so that they may be light.  Brutus is clearly occupied with the matter of Caesar's growing political strength and with the latter's increasing sense of megalomania. Lucius informs Brutus that he has discovered a note where there had not previously been one, and Brutus inquires as to whether the next day will be "the ides of March," the time prophesied by a citizen/soothsayer who confronted Caesar with this mysterious warning in Act I.  To his master's inquiry, Lucius responds, "Sir, March is wasted fourteen days," meaning the ides of March are upon them.  Later, in Act II, Scene IV, Lucius will play a more meaningful part in the play, as Brutus' wife Portia dispatches the servant to the capitol to observe the situation there, as Portia fears the chain of events that may be set in motion.

Sources:
alexb2's profile pic

Posted on

Lucius is a servant to Brutus. He finds an anonymous note in Brutus's private quarters and gives it to his master. The note urges Brutus to "Speak, strike, redress!" (II.i.47). In the camp at Sardis, Lucius plays a song for Brutus at Brutus's request.

Sources:

We’ve answered 330,923 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question