with his retinue. Caesar voices suspicion of Cassius: 'Yond Cassius has a lean a hungry look: / He thinks too much: such men are dangerous' (ll. 193-4), but Mark Antony allays his suspicions, dismissing the threat of the 'noble Roman'. This is a grave misjudgement on Antony's part that parallels Brutus later (III.1.231-53). Cassius' disdain of music is highlighted as the reason for his distance from Caesar.

Caska informs Brutus of the events at the forum - Caesar refused the crown three times before collapsing in the market place. Cassius intervenes to add that their fortunes will suffer as a result of Caesar's rise - 'we have the falling sickness' (l. 255). The references or images of domestic meals, a run of which begins here, are allusions to secret seditious meetings of the conspirators. Brutus and Caska exit the stage, leaving Cassius to muse over the events of the scene and develop his strategy in a most Machiavellian manner.

1.3 Rome: a street

Shakespeare employs thunder and lightning to symbolize the mounting political storm that is developing in Rome. Cicero and Caska enter the scene, the latter with a drawn sword. Caska's dialogue is ambivalent, though Cicero infers that his talk of tempestuous elements implies more than observations on meteorology. Caksa proceeds to recall 'prodigies', extraordinary happenings, such as the lion in the forum and the owl at the market place. Cicero makes a rational response to Caska's superstitious interpretations of the 'prodigies' before exiting.

Cassius enters,

'Now could I, Caska, name to thee a man
Most like this dreadful night
That thunders, lightens, opens graves and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol' (ll. 72-5)

''Tis Caesar that you mean. Is it not, Cassius?'

'I know where I will wear this dagger then:
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.'

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