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Barron's Booknotes-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
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ACT IV, SCENE II

The betrayal of a friend disturbs the harmony of the universe and brings death and destruction to Rome. In this disordered world, relationships are poisoned by distrust. People know as little about each other as they know about themselves.

The disintegration of the Republic continues. Rome is split into two warring factions, and the members of the factions are quarreling among themselves.

Brutus is angry at Cassius, but rather than give in to his emotions, he makes a speech about the nature of love. When love begins to cool we put on a formal show of affection, he says; true love needs no such formalities to support it. How like Brutus to turn his own emotions into a general theory of human nature.



His feelings under control as usual, Brutus points out the need for him and Cassius to put on a show of affection before their troops, and to air their grievances in private. Is this a new Brutus-advocating deceit? It is strange to see Brutus acting more pragmatically than Cassius. Brutus may be a man of ideas, but he is also a man with a practical knowledge of the world.

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Barron's Booknotes-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
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