In Julius Caesar, What does Brutus say about Caesar's spirit at Phillipi?  

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first thing Brutus mentions about Caesar's ghost when he is on the battlefield at Phillipi is the following:

O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords
In our own proper entrails.

Brutus expresses the superstition that Caesar's spirit has come for vengeance and forces his men to turn their swords against themselves, i.e to commit suicide. Later, he once again refers to Caesar's ghost when he says to Volumnius:

The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night; at Sardis once,
And, this last night, here in Philippi fields:
I know my hour is come.

Brutus realises that his time has come. He believes that the appearance of Caesar's ghost the previous night, prior to their battle at Philippi, and again on the battlefield, was an ominous sign that he would die. Whilst he had been in his tent at Sardis, Caesar's spirit appeared:

... Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.
Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
Why comest thou?
To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
Well; then I shall see thee again?
Ay, at Philippi.
Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.

Brutus was clearly shaken by the appearance of Caesar's spirit and enquired of his other men why they had cried out. He believed that he may have imagined what he had seen and that his men had been crying out in their sleep. However, all of them denied having made a sound, making it more convincing that what he had seen was real.

It has become obvious to Brutus that the ghost had kept its promise. His troops have been overrun and there is no way out. The victorious Antony and Octavius are coming ever closer. His men ask him to flee but Brutus decides to commit suicide, just like Cassius has done. He runs onto his sword (held by Strato) and kills himself, stating in his last breath:

Caesar, now be still:
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.

He means that he had a greater desire to take his own life than he had in taking Caesar's. Caesar's ghost can now come to rest because its vengeance is complete.


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Julius Caesar

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