In Julius Caesar, the action builds to the title character’s assassination at the beginning of Act 4. As the audience would have known that this was coming, the author must create suspense to keep their interest. Numerous previous warnings and omens in the play have fueled our anticipation that something will befall Caesar soon.
Scene 3 consists entirely of 16 lines, with one man reading from a piece of paper. Artemidorus reads a set of warnings addressed to Caesar which include “beware of Brutus,” not to trust Trebonius, and various forms of advice to watch out for or stay away from Cassius, Casca, and Cinna. Decius Brutus and Caius Ligarius are also similarly named. All of them are united, the letter says, in opposing and conspiring against Caesar. We see that Artemidorus is worried that they will kill him when he says that if Caesar is not immortal, he needs to be careful.
It turns out that he has written these warnings himself and plans to stand there and give the letter to Caesar when he comes along. Coupled with the preceding line about not being immortal, his final lines that Caesar’s life could depend on getting the letter add to the suspense. Will Artemidorus get the warning to him? If not, he says, the Fates will help the traitors.