Thursday, June 17, 2010

Julius Caesar, ACT V - a short summary

Summaries of previous acts are available here:

Act II - Conspiracy!
Act III - Et tu Bruté?
Act IV - Waiting for the other sandal to fall

Act V

Scene 1

*The plains of Philippi*

Octavius: Dude - you said we'd have to chase them, but the enemy has come to us!

Antony: They hope to convince us that they're brave, but I know better.

*Enter Messenger*

Messenger: So, like, the enemy is pretty much hear.

Antony: *sings "You take the high road, and I'll take the low road . . . *

Octavius: I'll take the high road.

Antony: WTF?

Octavius: Don't piss me off.

*Drums. Drums in the deep. They are coming.*

*Enter Brutus, Cassius, and other reprobates*

Brutus: "They stand, and would have parley."

*Enter several confused pirates*

Captain Jack Sparrow: Parleley, parlelellyleloooo, par le nee, partner, par... snip, parsley...

Ragetti: Parley?

Captain Jack Sparrow: That's the one. Parley. Parley.

Pintel: Parley? Damn to the depths whatever man what thought of "Parley".

Captain Jack Sparrow: That would be the French.

Antony: Look, you're not in this play. Savvy?

Captain Jack Sparrow: Right. We'll just be off then.

*Exeunt pirates, stage left*

Octavius: Right. Where were we? Um . . . shall we sound the battle trumpet?

Antony: No, Caesar. We'll have a chat first. It'll be fun. We'll load it up with sexual innuendo

Brutus: Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?

Octavius: Not that we love words better, as you do.

Brutus: Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.

In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart,
Crying 'Long live! hail, Caesar!'
Brutus: Nice job threatening us, jackass.

Antony: Better than you guys, who scraped and bowed to Caesar while Casca stabbed him in the back.

Cassius: See, Brutus? This is why I wanted to kill him in the first place. But noooooo, you said let him live.

Octavius: Enough small talk. You're all a pack of traitors. Let's rumble. *breaks into a Sharks & Jets routine*

Brutus: You should be so lucky as to have me kill you!

Cassius: Yeah. You're a mere schoolboy prancing with a clown!

Antony: Shut it, geezer.

Octavius: Enough talk. If it's a fight you want, you've got one. We'll be waiting on the battlefield if you're men enough to turn up.

*Exit the righteous*

Cassius: "Why, now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark!/The storm is up, and all is on the hazard."

*Brutus and Lucilius step aside to chat in private*

Cassius: Messala, wish me a happy birthday, won't you? Although I'm not all that happy. On the way here, eagles came down and ate from the hands of our soldiers, but now that we're here, it's all carrion fowl that fly above us. I think it's an ill portent.

Messala: Nah.

Cassius: I only believe it in part. I'll do my best to win. So, Brutus . . . I'm hoping the gods favor us so we can grow old together. If not, this may be our last time together. What do you plan to do?

Brutus: I won't kill myself, that's for sure, but neither will I allow myself to be captured. I'll play this through to the end:
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made.
Cassius: Good plan.

Brutus: If only we could know how it will all turn out. I guess we'll see!

Scene 2
*part of the battle field*

Brutus: *hands Messala some written directive*
Ride over to the other side and tell the troops to attack Octavius's men - they seem weaker and easy to beat.

Scene 3

Cassius: *footstomp* Crap! Our troops are deserting us! I just killed one of my own ensigns, for Petrus's sake!

Titinius: I blame Brutus. He went after Octavius too soon and his soldiers are now in trouble.

*Enter Pindarus

Pindarus: Run away, Cassius, run away! Antony's troops are already in the camp and burning your tents.

Cassius: I'm sure we'll be okay here. Titinius, mount up and ride to see whose troops those are over there. Pindarus, climb higher and tell me what you see. "This day I breathed first: time is come round,/And where I did begin, there shall I end;/My life is run his compass."

Pindarus: Titinius is overtaken by other horsemen. He has gotten off his horse, and the men around him cheer.

Cassius: All is lost! Come on down, Pindarus! You owe me a blood debt, and I'm cashing in. Take my sword - the one I used to kill Caesar - and run me through. I refuse to be captured.

*Pindarus runs him through*

Cassius: "Caesar, thou art revenged,/Even with the sword that kill'd thee." *Dies*

Pindarus: My work here is done. He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day. *Skives off*

*Enter Messala with Titinius*

Messala: . . . and, to sum up, we whipped Octavius after all. Where'd you leave Cassius again?

Titinius: Right about here, near this Cassius-like corpse. Whoa! It is Cassius! It appears he doubted our success.

Messala: That's one way of putting it. I'll head off to wound Brutus with this news.

*Exit Messala*

Titinius: Right. I'll just stay here and talk to the corpse, then. And then kill myself. *Kills himself with Cassius's sword after putting a laurel wreath on Cassius's corpse*

*Enter Messala with Brutus, Cato, Strato, Volumnius and Lucilius*

Brutus: Where's Cassius's body again?

Messala: Over there, near Titinius, who is lying there to mourn him.

Brutus: He's face-up.

Cato: And dead.

Brutus: Nice work, Julius Caesar - you're getting us to kill ourselves now! These were wonderful Romans. I owe many tears over Cassius's death, but it'll have to wait. Send his body somewhere nice to be buried. We'll head off for another battle.

Scene 4

*A stage full of fighting soldiers from both sides. Enter Brutus, Cato, Lucilius and others. Cato and Brutus engage in Tarzan-like hollering of their own names and exit*

Lucilius: Oh noes! Cato is killed! Offstage!

Soldier from the other side: Surrender or die!

Lucilius: I surrender. But here's a bag full of money if you'll kill me straight away, and kill Brutus, too, so he can die an honorable death.

*News comes that Brutus is also captured, and Antony enters*

Soldier: Brutus is captured!

Antony: Where is he?

Lucilius: He's safe enough. No enemy shall take him alive; the gods prevent him from such a horrible fate!

Antony: Hey - this isn't Brutus. But he's a keeper. Keep him safe and be nice to him. I'd rather have him as a friend than an enemy. Find out what's up with Brutus and send word to me in Octavius's tent.

Scene 5

*Enter Brutus, Dardanius, Clitus, Strato and Volumnius*

Brutus: Come sit on this rock with me while I ask Clitus and Dardanius to kill me.

*Dardanius and Clitus discuss Brutus's request*

Dardanius: Look - now he's meditating.

Clitus: "Now is that noble vessel full of grief,/That it runs over even at his eyes."

Brutus: Hey, Volumnius. I know my time is up. I've seen Caesar's ghost twice now - first in our camp at Sardis, and now here at Philippi.

Volumnius: "Not so, my lord."

Brutus: We've been friends since school, right? Do me a favor and hold my sword while I run onto it.

Volumnius: No way, José. A good friend would refuse such a request!

*Enter Gandalf, hollering "Fly, you fools!"

Clitus: "Fly, fly, my lord; there is no tarrying here."

Brutus: *sings "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye! to his friends"
I shall have glory by this losing day
More than Octavius and Mark Antony
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
That have but labour'd to attain this hour.
Clitus: Hey, did you not hear my Gandalf lines?

Brutus: You guys go ahead, I'm right behind you. Psst, Strato - hold up a sec.

*Everyone leaves Brutus and Strato alone*

Brutus: Hey, Strato, be a pal and hold my sword so I can impale myself on it.

Strato: *shrugs* Okay.

*Brutus makes like a shish kebab*

Brutus: "Caesar, now be still:/I kill'd not thee with half so good a will."

*Brutus DIES, and Antony, Octavius, Messala, Lucilius and the army enter*

Octavius: *points at Strato* Who's this guy?

Messala: He's Brutus's man.

Free from the bondage you are in, Messala:
The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.
Lucilius: Told you so! I'm glad Brutus proved my words true!

Messala: How did Brutus die, Strato?

Strato: Death by self-inflicted shish-kebabery.

This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world 'This was a man!'
Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
CRAP! WRONG PLAY! Those were Fortinbras's lines from Act V, scene 2 of Hamlet! Strike that, make it:
According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.
So call the field to rest; and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day.

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