Who said the following quote in "Julius Caesar", and to whom?  What does it mean?"Set honor in one eye and death i'th' other, and I will look on both indifferently"

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cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This quote is from Act I, scene 2 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Brutus says this in conversation with Cassius.  They are agreeing that it is wrong for one man ~ Caesar ~ to have so much power over everyone else.  Bear in mind that for almost 500 years, Rome had been a republic, with power divided according to a constitution.  The rise of Caesar is considered by many historians to have been the turning point from republic to empire, with one all-powerful ruler.

In Shakespeare's play, the larger quote is:

If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently,
For let the gods so speed me as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death.

Brutus is asking Cassius what he wants of him.  The meaning of his words are that if it is for the good of Rome, he will do what honor requires even if it means death.  He should enjoy good luck from the gods only as long as he loves honor more than he fears death.

I will leave it to you to figure out what Cassius wants Brutus to do.

Read the study guide:
Julius Caesar

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