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Transcript of Figurative Language
This quote suggests that Brutus is beginning to realize why he and his friends should kill Caesar. By comparing him to a Serpent's egg, he is saying that Caesar is currently and egg-small and harmless- but at some point the egg will hatch and show how deadly it actually is.
"And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
Which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell."
"Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream.
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council, and the state of a man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection."
In this scene, Brutus is explaining to himself what the thought of killing Caesar is doing to him. One side of his brain understands why Caesar should die and that he should go through the "acting of dreadful thing," and kill Caesar. He compares his mind to an insurrection happening in a small kingdom, having both sides in conflict, just like his brain.
LIMBS OF CAESAR
"To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius,
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,
And in the spirit of men there is no blood."
Before this, Cassius was suggesting that Caesar's follower, Antony, should die with Caesar, but Brutus, being the stoic who he is, disagrees. In this quote, He compares Caesar and Antony to a body; Caesar being the head and Antony being the limbs. He says that killing Caesar is like chopping of the head and it is just useless to cut off limbs after the decapitation of a man. Basically, he is telling Cassius that there is no true reason to kill Antony because they will just see them as a bunch of butchers, instead of sacrificers.
THE CARCASS FIT FOR HOUNDS
"O, that we could come by Caesar's spirit,
And no dismember Caesar! But, alas,
Caesar must bleed for it. And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds."
This quote, with all simplicity, is Brutus's ramblings on how he wishes they didn't have to kill Caesar and how exactly they should go about it. He wants to "kill him boldly, but not wrathfully," meaning that they should kill him in a manner that would suggest higher intentions. He wants to "carve him as a dish fit for the gods, and not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds," meaning that they'll kill him in the most respectable way possible. As it happens, they decide to have each one of their knives enter Caesar's body so symbolize their unity.
BLOOD OF CAESAR
"Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear out swords.
Then walk we forth, even to the market place,
And waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry "Peace, freedom, and liberty!"
For the assassins of Caesar to appear noble in their cause, they bathe their hands in Caesar's blood to show that they are not going to hide. they are going to make what they did known to the public because they believe they can validate Caesar's death. After bathing their hands, they will go outside and shout "Peace, freedom, and liberty," to show what they did was truly noble.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."
At this point in the story, Caesar has already died and Brutus is having a conversation with his assassination buddy, Cassius. He is essentially comparing the affairs of men to a voyage at sea, and the decision to take an opportunity is like taking the current that the wind gives you at sea; you must follow the current before it is too late.
"Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit.
It is more worthy to lead in ourselves
Than tarry till they push us."
At this time, Brutus believes that all is lost in the civil war started by Caesar's death and decides that it is time to commit suicide. "The pit," is a metaphor for death, and he believes that throwing yourself into the pit, rather than someone else doing it. At this time in history, most people, particularly Romans, believed that there was honor in suicide and dishonor in being kidnapped.