Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 3
No Fear Act 1 Scene 3 Page 3

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CASSIUS

Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
For my part, I have walked about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night,
And, thus unbracèd, Casca, as you see,
50Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone.
And when the cross blue lightning seemed to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.

CASSIUS

Those who have known how bad things are here on earth. I have walked around the streets, exposing myself to the perilous night, unbuttoned like this, as you see, Casca, baring my chest to the thunderbolt. When the forked blue lightning seemed to break open the sky, I put myself right where I thought it would hit.

CASCA

But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
55It is the part of men to fear and tremble
When the most mighty gods by tokens send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

CASCA

But why did you tempt the heavens like that? Mankind’s role is to fear and tremble when the almighty gods send warning signals.

CASSIUS

You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman you do want,
60Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder
To see the strange impatience of the heavens.
But if you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
65Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
Why old men fool and children calculate,
Why all these things change from their ordinance
Their natures and preformèd faculties
To monstrous quality—why, you shall find
70That heaven hath infused them with these spirits
To make them instruments of fear and warning
Unto some monstrous state.
Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
Most like this dreadful night,
75That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol—

CASSIUS

You’re acting stupid, Casca, and you lack the quick wits that a Roman should have—or else you don’t use them. You go pale, you stare, and you act in awe of the strange disturbance in the heavens. But if you thought about the real reason for all these fires, all these gliding ghosts, for why birds and animals abandon their natural behavior, why old men, fools, and children make predictions, why all sorts of things have departed from the usual course of their natures and become monstrosities, then you’d understand that heaven had them act this way so they would serve as frightening warnings of an unnatural state to come. Right this minute, Casca, I could name a man who’s just like this dreadful night. A man who thunders, throws lightning, splits open graves, and roars like the lion in the Capitol.