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I need to find a quote in Act 1 of Julius Caesar that shows Casca dislikes Caesar.

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chloepurser2 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM via web

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I need to find a quote in Act 1 of Julius Caesar that shows Casca dislikes Caesar.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM (Answer #2)

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Another direct quote in Act 1 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar which shows that Casca dislikes Caesar is the following from his conversation with Brutus and Cassius:

Marry, before he fell down, when he peceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his throat to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues.

It seems very theatrical of Julius Caesar to be offering to let Casca cut his throat in front of a huge gathering of Roman citizens, but Casca is, as Brutus tells Cassius, "a blunt fellow" who can be relied upon to tell the plain truth. What Casca means by "An I had been a man of any occupation . . . etc." is apparently that if he had been a working man and had been equipped with any kind of suitable tool he would have taken Caesar at his word and cut his throat. Casca actually swears an oath that he would have murdered Caesar if he could have done so on that occasion. He may be taking the oath seriously, i.e., that he swears he might go to hell if he isn't telling the truth when he says he wishes he had been able to kill Caesar. Casca doesn't speak figuratively. He is suggesting that he could have actually committed the murder with impunity, since Caesar was publicly inviting him to cut his throat. It seems plain that Caesar was offering his life to the crowd but that he invited Casca to perform the human sacrifice, because Casca says, "he plucked me ope his doublet."

Caesar was taking chances--but Caesar had been taking chances all his life. He must have known that Casca disliked him, but he was also probably aware that Casca was unarmed at this particular time--although on another occasion Casca was carrying a sword. In Act 1, Scene 3, he tells Cicero:

Besides--I ha' not since put up my sword--
Against the Capitol I met a lion
Who glazed upon me, and went surly by
Without annoying me.

Casca is a likable character. He has a wry sense of humor. He sees that it would have been extremely funny if Caesar had offered to sacrifice his life in front of the Roman people and someone had actually taken him at his word. No one could claim that Caesar hadn't actually meant his invitation sincerely, and Casca could have pretended he believed him too. According to Shakespeare, it was Casca who struck the first blow when the conspirators were attacking Caesar (III.1). The stage directions read;

They stab Caesar, Casca first, Brutus last.

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pvan1754 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 27, 2013 at 6:52 AM (Answer #1)

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Act 1 Sc 2 offers a good indication of Casca's view of Caesar. From L 234 onwards, he describes how Mark Antony offered a small crown to Caesar and how the plebeians (commoners) applauded.  He describes the commoners in unflattering terms, unhygienic and dumb and implies that only such people would welcome as a king.  Mark Antony offered the crown three times and Caesar refused three times after which he fainted (Caesar suffered from epilepsy). Casca then says, 'And for my mine part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.' (L 250 -252) Here he is openly saying that he wanted to laugh when Caesar fell down but he was too afraid to do it because of the bad breaths that came from the crowds.  According to Casca, that was also why Caesar fainted.  This section then proves that Casca did not want Caesar to become more powerful, he actually wanted to laugh when Caesar fell over which indicates that he had no sympathy with his condition.

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