In the play, Julius Caesar, where was Caesar stabbed and where did Brutus and Antony deliver their speeches?

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Caesar was stabbed in the senate-house. All the senators had gathered there to hear his address and also to petition him for a number of different causes. The vain and arrogant general had been given a number of warnings about venturing outside but had dismissed these either with contempt or mockery. 

The soothsayer had, for example, alerted him to the dangers of the Ides of March, the day on which the senate was to meet but he had dismissed him as a dreamer. Also, his wife, Calpurnia begged him not to leave, for she had heard of terrible portents, of ghosts screaming and the Capitol filled with blood. In general, visions of disruption. He steadfastly refuses to heed her warning, stating:

...Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.

He mentions that he finds it strange that men should fear death when it is, after all, their destiny to die. He is not afraid of death.

He also heard from his servant that his priests had studied the entrails of a sacrificed animal and could not find its heart. This was an evil portent and they asked that he should not venture forth. His response was:

The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible:
And Caesar shall go forth. 

He interprets their prediction differently and arrogantly claims that the gods are warning against cowardice, claiming that he is more dangerous and more terrible than danger, so why should he fear it? He insists that he will go to the senate-house. He, however, finally accedes to Calpurnia's begging and mentions that he will stay to please her. 

Decius Brutus then arrives to accompany him to the Senate house and when Caesar tells him of Calpurnia's dream, he puts a spin on it, flattering the general and stating that the blood Calpurnia saw in her dream was an indication of the revitalising power of his blood from which Rome draws her strength. The easily flattered Caesar then decides that he will go. He is accompanied to the Capitol by a number of senators who had come to fetch him. 

Before his entry into the senate-house, he sees the soothsayer and tells him that the Ides of March has come (and nothing's happened) but the soothsayer mentions that the day is not over. Artemidorus wishes to give Caesar a warning letter, but he is ignored and Caesar then enters the senate-house.  

Inside, he rejects Metellus Cimber's plea for his brother's banishment to be revoked. Caesar is surprised when Brutus also asks him the same. Cassius joins in with the same request. Cinna then comes near and finally, Casca approaches and stabs Caesar. He is followed by the other conspirators, with Brutus delivering the final cut. Caesar dies.   

After the assassination, Antony, who had fled, returns and approaches the conspirators and asks if he could speak at Caesar's funeral.

That's all I seek:
And am moreover suitor that I may
Produce his body to the market-place;
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
Speak in the order of his funeral.

Cassius is upset when Brutus gives him leave to do so, for he sees a danger in Antony. Brutus assures him that he will set conditions for Antony's address and that his co-conspirator has nothing to fear. Ironically, this was probably the naive Brutus' second biggest faux pas.

Brutus then takes to the pulpit in the forum (also used as a marketplace) and addresses the crowd. He stresses that killing Caesar was for the good of Rome for he would have become a tyrant and all Rome would have been kept in miserable bondage. he states that Caesar was overly ambitious. The crowd agree with him and praise him and the other conspirators for their courage.

Before taking his leave, Brutus asks the crowd to stay behind and listen to Antony, who has just entered bearing Caesar's corpse. He asks them not to leave until Antony has spoken. Antony stands at the pulpit and delivers a rousing speech, mocking the conspirators and their honour. By repeatedly calling them honourable men and contrasting their murder to Caesar's virtues, he drives the crowd into a frenzy. 

Antony cleverly stays them and finally reads Caesar's will, which promises all citizens sundry benefits. By this time, the unruly crowd cannot be contained. They demand retribution and, once they leave, they go on a rampage, seeking out all the assassins, who by this time, have already made good their escape. 

 

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Julius Caesar

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