Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Julius Caesar, ACT IV - a short summary

Summaries of previous acts are available here:

Act II - Conspiracy!
Act III - Et tu Bruté?

Act IV

Scene 1

*A meeting between Lepidus, Octavius, and Mark Antony*

Antony: Okay if we kill your brother, Lepidus?

Lepidus: As long as we also kill your nephew, Antony.

Antony: Deal

*Lepidus is sent on an errand*

Antony: That Lepidus is only good for running errands.

Octavius: He's a good soldier.

Antony: So's my horse. I guess we should plan plans, since Brutus and Cassius are trying to rally troops.

Octavius: Agreed. For "I set it down that one may smile and smile and be a villain". Oops. Wrong play. Let me say, rather:

Let us do so: for we are at the stake,
And bay'd about with many enemies;
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.
Scene 2

*Outside Brutus's tent, amid war drums - Brutus, Lucilius, Lucius, Titinius & Pindarus*

Brutus: Stand, ho!

Lucilius: Give the word, ho! and and stand.
Something tells me that this would have been as funny to the groundlings in Shakespeare's time as it is to me now.

Brutus: Hey there, Lucilius, is Cassius nearby?

Lucilius: I think so. And here's Pindarus.

Brutus: I gotta tell you, Pindarus, your boss has given me reason lately "to wish things done, undone."

Pindarus: I'm sure my noble master will be noble and honorable.

Brutus: Yeah, right. Tell me, Lucilius, how he treated you.

Lucilius: With courtesy and respect, but not with real friendliness.

Thou hast described
A hot friend cooling: ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?
*Enter Cassius, amid military pomp and foolishness*

Cassius: "Most noble brother, you have done me wrong."

Brutus: The hell you say! I don't even wrong my enemies, let along my brothers!

Cassius: I think you're two-faced. Only I said it a nice way so you might not quite catch my full drift.

Brutus: *in what I imagine to be a soft but deadly tone, sort of like Leroy Jethro Gibbs* Speak like a friend in front of the troops, asshat. You got something to say, say it in private inside my tent.

Cassius: Pindarus, take the men and stand over there.

Brutus: Lucilius - what he said.

Scene 3
*Inside Brutus's tent for some man-on-man action. Or not*

Cassius: You have wronged me by ignoring my ill-advised petition in support of Lucius, who is a crook.

Brutus: No, you've done wrong by accepting bribes.

Cassius: "I an itching palm!" If you were anyone but Brutus, I'd kill you.

Brutus: Having your name attached to corruption besmirches all of us. (Actually, Brutus mentions "chastisement", not "besmirchment", but I prefer "besmirch".)

Cassius: WTF!

Brutus: Remember the ides of March? That was supposed to be about justice, man. It was about the cause. It was about establishing a new world order, man. About liberty and stuff. Shall we now stoop to freeing robbers for bribes? "I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,/Than such a Roman."

Cassius: Watch it, whippersnapper, I'm older than you and more experienced.

Brutus: Are not!

Cassius: Am too!

Brutus: Are not!

*slap fight ensues*

Cassius: Keep this up and I'll have to hurt you!

Brutus: You and what army, little man? (Actually: "Away, slight man!")

Cassius: *is all astonishment*

Brutus: Do you expect me to bow to your ill temper? Am I to do nothing more than stare at the crazy man?

Cassius: "O ye gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this?"

Brutus: Go show your minions what a mess you are! "Must I stand and crouch/Under your testy humour?" [KRF: I suspect a bawdy double meaning there dealing with crotch and testes, but I might be wrong. But I doubt it. But I might be wrong.] Man up! If you keep this up, I will taunt you a second time!

Cassius: *cries* "Is it come to this?"

Brutus: You say you're a better soldier than I, so prove it. And I'll be happy if you do. For I am glad to learn of noble men.

Cassius: *did not get the memo on avoiding petty quarrels* I said "older", not "better". DUH!

Brutus: I know you are, but what am I?

Cassius: Caesar would NEVER have been such a dick to me!

Brutus: Only because you were such a chicken that you never would have pushed him this way.

Cassius: Chicken?!

Brutus: Bawk, ba-ba-bawk BAWK! *flaps elbows like wings*

Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.

You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me.
*resumption of the "Did not/did too" game*

Cassius: Clearly, my messenger botched the message. But as my friend, you should bear with my infirmities. *sings "You don't bring me flowers anymore"*

Brutus: "I do not like your faults." [KRF: Ouch!}

Cassius: A true friend wouldn't see my faults.

Brutus: Only an imbecile could overlook them.

Cassius: *sings "When Love is Gone" from A Muppet Christmas Carol*
Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world;
Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
Cheque'd like a bondman; all his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learn'd, and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast.
Brutus: *eyes Cassius's naked breast, then says* "Sheathe your dagger." [KRF: Suspects homoeroticism] You can rant and I'll laugh, but I cannot stay angry with you. And when I said harsh words, it was because I was angry too.

Cassius: Give me your hand.

Brutus: Take my heart as well. *sings "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story*

Cassius: Can't you love me enough to overlook my occasional bad humor, which is all my mother's fault somehow?

Brutus: Of course I can.

*Cassius and Brutus make out*

Poet: *offstage* Let me in to see the generals - I sense that they're having a tiff, and think they need a poet to sort things out.

Poet: *busts in with Lucilius, Titinius, and Lucius* "For shame, you generals! what do you mean?/Love, and be friends, as two such men should be." (Yes. Those are his actual lines. He wants them to love one another. And being a poet . . . )

Cassius: Your rhymes are crap!

Brutus: Get thee hence, you saucy fellow. (Yes. He actually uses the word "saucy".)

*Exit Poet*

Brutus: Set up camp!

Cassius: And bring us the head of John the Baptist on a platter Messala.

Brutus: And some wine. Definitely.

*Everyone scampers to do as told*

Cassius: I did not know you could get so angry as earlier.

Brutus: Yeah, well, I'm in a bad mood. Portia is dead.

Cassius: *massive double-take* How the hell did you not kill me just now? What happened?

Brutus: The usual. Lost her mind, swallowed fire.

Cassius: O_o

*Enter Lucius with wine and candles*

Brutus: Let's drink!

Cassius: "Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup;/ I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love." [KRF: Hand to gods, those are the actual words]

*Messala comes in and says stuff about battle brewing and Portia being dead*

Messala: I hear that Octavius and Antony have killed 100 senators.

Brutus: Really? I heard it was only 70, but that Cicero was one of them.

Messala: Yep. Cicero is dead. Just like your wife.

Brutus: No use crying over spilt wives. Shall we march to Philippi?

Cassius: I think not. Let them wear themselves out marching here while we rest.

Brutus: "Good reasons must, of force, give place to better." The people between here and there don't like us much, and may decide to join forces with Antony & Octavius and march against us. Plus, I worry that our troops won't remain loyal if they are left to think things through too much.

Cassius: Okay, then we'll march off to certain death Philippi!

*Soldiers leave, servants enter, Brutus decides to read a bit while Lucius plays the lute - or something. Only Lucius falls asleep.*

Brutus: Now, where was I in my (anachronistic) book?

*Enter Caesar's Ghost*

How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.

Thy evil spirit, Brutus.

Why comest thou?

To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.

Well; then I shall see thee again?

Ay, at Philippi.

Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.
*Turns out none of the sleeping people saw anything*

Kiva - loans that change lives

No comments: