In Julius Caesar, Act IV, what vision does Brutus see at the end of the act?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is interesting to draw several parallels between this play and Macbeth. Both murderers, for the crime of killing their leader, are plagued with sleeplessness and visions of ghosts of those that they have killed. At the very end of Act IV scene 3, we see Brutus is trying to desperately get some sleep, but is unable to, in spite of the music that tries to lull him to sleep. As he struggles against his insomnia, the Ghost of Caesar enters, and says that it is the "evil spirit" of Brutus and says that they will meet again at Philippi. Note Brutus' response when the ghost appears:

It comes upon me. Art thou anything?

Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,

That mak'st my blood cold, and my hair to stare?

The impact of this vision is thus clear. Brutus is terrified by what he sees and in particular the guilt that this ghost arouses. Having slaughtered Caesar, Brutus has condemned himself to being haunted.

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