Julius Caesar- Summary of Act II
We recognize in the play is operating on two time scales. Cicero’s opening remark in Act 1, scene 3 (‘Good even, Casca: brought you Caesar home?’) suggests that Casca has left Caesar, having escorted him home after the celebrations of the Lupercal. The conspirators go in search of Brutus, he has had weeks, not hours, in which to decide upon a course of action, and his soliloquy reflects the thoughts of that period. Brutus now states his dilemma clearly, he has no personal grudge against Caesar and no reason to distrust him-but on the other hand all power corrupts and Caesar may prove a danger to Rome.
Brutus’s honour and patriotism urge him to take action against Caesar, and although recognizing the ugliness of the situation, he steps forward to welcome the conspirators Cassius meekly accepts Brutus’s decision to leave Cicero out of the conspiracy. Cassius is more doubtful when Brutus still idealistic-declares that Antony shall not be killed with Caesar but he again allows him himself to be overruled. Portia makes remember that the mental anguish that Brutus has endeured. She is a character with whom we can sympathaise, in her loving care for her husband.
Like Casca, Calphurnia is distressed by the unnatural events of the night, and she has also had a frightening dream, which Caesar narrates to Decius Brutus, but he is determined to get Caesar to the capitol, and his interpretation of the dream is flattering. Tempted with the thought of a crown, and also afraid of being laughed at, Caesar has made up his mind when the conspirators come to escort him.
Another warning has been prepared for Caesar .Artemidorus reads his letter aloud, so that we shall know what is in the letter that Caesar refuses to read.
Portia is anxious .Brutus told her of the conspiracy, and she knows the danger that her husband is in. The tension grows.