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What does Brutus say about Caesar’s spirit at Philippi?

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jamila | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 14, 2008 at 9:19 AM via web

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What does Brutus say about Caesar’s spirit at Philippi?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 14, 2008 at 9:51 AM (Answer #1)

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In Act 4 Scene 3, Caesar’s ghost appears to Brutus, telling him first that he is “thy evil spirit” (325) and second that he shall see Brutus “at Philippi” (138).  Brutus responds, “Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then” (330), in a tone that is open to interpretation, but I would argue he is afraid, for only after the ghost disappears does Brutus says he would have liked to talk to him more, but “now I have taken heart, thou vanishest” (331), as if the ghost were afraid of him instead of the other way around. He’s fooling himself, indicated by the fact he immediately calls Lucius, hoping he had made the noise or had seen the apparition, but of course Lucius had not. He accuses Varro and Claudius of the same thing:  Have they called out in their sleep, he asks? Have they seen anything? They protest they have not, and with that the act ends.  People in Shakespeare's time understood ghosts could be good or evil, and the fact that this one proclaimed itself the latter does not bode well for Brutus. After Cassius dies at Phillip and he understands he is doomed, Brutus again responds to Caesar, telling him he is "mighty yet," for his "spirit walks abroad and turns our swords / In our own proper entrails" (5.3.105-108), referring to the fact that after learning Cassius is dead, Titinius kills himself on his comrade's sword. Brutus calls his fallen comrades "the last of all the Romans," indicating his deep feelings for them.

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