Caesar is headed to the Senate House with all of the conspirators surrounding him. He sees the soothsayer and tells the man that the ides of March have come. The soothsayer responds with, "Ay, Caesar, but not gone" (III.1.2). Next Artemidorus attempts to hand Caesar his letter, but Decius responds faster and tells Caesar the Trebonius has a document for him to read instead. Caesar tells Artemidorus that, "What touches us ourself shall be last served" (III.1.7). As they approach the Senate House, Trebonius manages to pull Mark Antony aside and away from Caesar. Caesar takes his seat in the Senate and proceeds to allow Metellus Cimber to petition him. The man throws himself down at Caesar's feet in order to beg for his brother's release from banishment, but is ordered to get up. Caesar tells him that fawning will not win him any favours, and that, "Know Caesar doth not wrong but with just cause" (III.1.47). At this Brutus comes forward and pleads for the man's brother. Cassius soon joins him.
Caesar tells them his decision is, "constant as the Northern Star" and that he will not remove the banishment. Cinna approaches and Caesar tells him, "Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus?" (III.1.73). Decius and Ligarius come forward and kneel before him as well. Finally Casca also kneels and says, "Speak hands for me" (III.1.76). They all stab Caesar who falls saying, "Et tu, Brute? - Then fall Caesar" (III.1.77).
Cinna immediately starts crying out, "Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!" (3.1.78) The other senators all run out of the Senate House in confusion while the conspirators stay together to protect themselves. Brutus finally tells them to,"Stoop, Romans, stoop.
And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords;
Then walk we forth even to the marketplace,
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads,
Let's all cry out 'peace, freedom, and liberty!"
Cassius continues this exultation of their deed, saying, "How many ages hence / Shall this our lofty scene be acted over, / In states unborn and accents yet unknown!" (III.1.112-114). Cassius further adds that they will be known as, "The men that gave their country liberty" (III.1.118). The servant of Mark Antony arrives and falls prostrate before Brutus. He tells Brutus that Antony wishes to meet with him and learn why it was necessary for Caesar to die. Brutus promises that Antony will not be harmed and tells the servant to bring him. Cassius tells Brutus that he still has misgivings about Antony even though he has promised to not hurt him.
Antony arrives and laments the death of Caesar. He begs the murderers, specifically Brutus, to tell him why Caesar had to be killed. Brutus tells him that Caesar was destroying the republic and had to be removed from power. Antony pretends to be convinced by this and asks the conspirators to, "Let each man render me his bloody hand" (3.1.185). He then shakes hands with each of them, naming them as he shakes the hand. The last hand he takes is that of Trebonius, who actually did not commit the murder because he was distracting Mark Antony at the time. Antony quickly recants his agreement with the murderers, and tells Cassius that he almost joined them after shaking their hands, but he was swayed not to at the sight of Caesar's body. He asks them if he may have permission to take the body to the marketplace and show it to the crowds. Brutus gives him permission to do this, but immediately Cassius pulls Brutus aside and says, "You know not what you do. Do not consent / That Antony speak in his funeral. / Know you how much the people may be moved / By that which he will utter?" (3.1.234-237). Brutus decides to give his speech first, and to allow Antony to speak afterwards, provided that Antony only says positive things about the conspirators. Antony agrees to this.
Left alone with the body of Caesar, Antony says, "O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth / That I am meek and gentle with these butcher" (3.1.257-258). He continues, with his speech becoming ever more violent, "Domestic fury and fierce civil strife / Shall cumber all the parts of Italy" (3.1.266-267). A servant sent from Octavius Caesar arrives and sees the body. Antony tells him to stay for the funeral eulogies in the marketplace and report back to Octavius on the state of affairs in Rome. Together they carry out Caesar's body.3.2
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