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What petition is presented to Caesar, and how does he respond to it?

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kitkat951 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 18, 2007 at 7:29 AM via web

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What petition is presented to Caesar, and how does he respond to it?

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 18, 2007 at 8:17 AM (Answer #1)

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Immediately before the assassination, Metellus Cimber presents a petition to Caesar, requesting that his brother, Publius Cimber, be allowed to return to Rome from his banishment.  Caesar refuses, comparing himself to the North Star which is fixed and constant:

"...and that I am he
Let me a little show it, even in this:
That I was constant Cimber should be banished
And constant do remain to keep him so." (Act III, scene i)

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 20, 2007 at 3:00 AM (Answer #2)

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There are several petitions presented to Caesar when he arrives on March 15 (the Ides of March) at the senate. One in particular pleads for mercy for Cimber's brother to be allowed home from banishment.  Caesar responds with a resounding "No."

The letter given to him by Artemidorus listing all the conspirators' names and that Caesar should avoid them.  The letter is put last as Caesar says he will deal with personal business after that of the state. 

Irony abounds here since Caesar would have saved his own neck twice--the petitioner knew Caesar's answer would be "No" and this acted as a signal for the conspirators to attact.

The letter with his enemies names written in it, had Caesar opened it first, would have given him an advantage to leave the senate and go home to his wife unharmed.

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