Why does Caesar not read Artemidorus's letter in III.1 of Julius Caesar?

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linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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You could say that the Fates decreed that he not read the letter because his fate had already been determined. In the play, however, it is the way Artimedorus presents the message that makes Caesar turn him away. As Caesar arrives at the capitol, both Decius and Artimedorus approach him with petitions. Artimedorus shouts that Caesar should read his petition right that minute because it is a message that "touches Caesar nearer." However, Decius presents his message by saying that Caesar can read his "humble suit" at Caesar's "best leisure." In a move meant to show his own humility, Caesar says that any message that concerns his own good should be the last thing he considers. So he brushes Artimedorus aside.

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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Caesar does not read the letter out of arrogance. He says that Artemidorous must be mad to stand in his way. He also ignores the warnings of the Soothsayer. Because Caesar continues on his way to the Senate, he becomes easy prey for the Conspirators, and he meets his death.

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Jyotsana | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Caesar does not read Artemidorius's letter in Scene 3 of Julius Caesar because Caesar says Rome comes first for him and his life comes second. Caesar seems ignorant for not reading the letter or not listening to the warning. 

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