In act I, scene 3, Casca runs into Cicero on the streets of Rome and begins to tell him, in some excitement, about the many portents that have lately been seen. These include the following:
And yesterday the bird of night did sit
Even at noon-day upon the marketplace,
Hooting and shrieking
This "bird of night" is clearly an owl: it is nocturnal and hoots. Casca insists it is an omen or sign of unnatural happenings yet to come.
Cicero, the master of constructing an argument, listens and then says drily, in what is the most important speech in the scene,
Indeed, it is a strange-disposèd time.
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Cicero means that while the signs may be there, people may be interpreting them in self-serving ways that have nothing to do with what they really mean. In other words, as he well knows, we can twist circumstances to mean whatever we what them to mean. He is trying to advise Casca not to get so excited about...
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