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Julius Caesar

Enter CINNA the poet.
CINNA THE POETI dreamt to-night that I did feast with Caesar,
And things unlucky charge my fantasy:
I have no will to wander forth of doors,
Yet something leads me forth.
Enter Citizens.
First CitizenWhat is your name? 5
Second CitizenWhither are you going?
Third CitizenWhere do you dwell?
Fourth CitizenAre you a married man or a bachelor?
Second CitizenAnswer every man directly.
First CitizenAy, and briefly. 10
Fourth CitizenAy, and wisely.
Third CitizenAy, and truly, you were best.
CINNA THE POETWhat is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I
dwell? Am I a married man or a bachelor? Then, to
answer every man directly and briefly, wisely and
truly: wisely I say, I am a bachelor.
Second CitizenThat’s as much as to say, they are fools that marry:
you’ll bear me a bang for that, I fear. Proceed; directly.
CINNA THE POETDirectly, I am going to Caesar’s funeral. 20
First CitizenAs a friend or an enemy?
CINNA THE POETAs a friend.
Second CitizenThat matter is answered directly.
Fourth CitizenFor your dwelling,–briefly.
CINNA THE POETBriefly, I dwell by the Capitol. 25
Third CitizenYour name, sir, truly.
CINNA THE POETTruly, my name is Cinna.
First CitizenTear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.
CINNA THE POETI am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet. 29
Fourth CitizenTear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
CINNA THE POETI am not Cinna the conspirator.
Fourth CitizenIt is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going. 34
Third CitizenTear him, tear him! Come, brands ho! fire-brands:
to Brutus’, to Cassius’; burn all: some to Decius’
house, and some to Casca’s; some to Ligarius’: away, go!

Next: Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 1


Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 3

From Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908.

1. “There was one of Cæsar’s friends called Cinna, that had a marvellous strange and terrible dream the night before. He dreamed that Cæsar bad him to supper, and that he refused and would not go: then that Cæsar took him by the hand, and led him against his will. Now Cinna, hearing at that time that they burnt Cæsar’s body in the market-place, notwithstanding that he feared his dream, and had an ague on him besides, he went into the market-place to honour his funerals. When he came thither, one of the mean sort asked him what his name was? He was straight called by his name. The first man told it to another, and that other unto another, so that it ran straight through them all, that he was one of them that murthered Cæsar: (for indeed one of the traitors to Cæsar was also called Cinna as himself) wherefore taking him for Cinna the murtherer, they fell upon him with such fury that they presently dispatched him in the market-place.”–Plutarch, Julius Cæsar.–to-night: last night. So in II, ii, 76, and The Merchant of Venice, II, v, 18.


2. Things that forbode evil fortune burden my imagination.

12. you were best: it were best for you. See Abbott, § 230.

19. you’ll bear me: I’ll give you. For ‘me’ see note, p. 26, l. 263.



How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908.