Julius Caesar Quotes

Quotes or quotations are phrases, sentences, lines, and paragraphs taken from a literary piece. These quotes express universal truths or situations. Some of the best quotes from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar are analyzed below.

Quotes in Julius Caesar

Quote #1

Beware the Ides of March.”

Act I, Scene II

Although meant as a warning to Caesar about impending danger to his life on the 15th of March, this quote shows good use of dramatic irony, in that the audiences know that it is a very important date for Romans, yet the characters do not know it.

Quote #2

 “No Cassius the eye sees not itself

But by reflection, by some other things.”

Act I, Scene II

Here Brutus speaks to Cassius, reminding him that what eyes see is not what the person is. In fact, eyes see what others show him to be. In other words, he means that a person does not see himself as he is but by reflections of other people. He also means that identity is formed through social perceptions.

Quote #3

 “Nay, and I tell you that, Ill ne’er look you i’ the
face again: but those that understood him smiled at
one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
part, it was Greek to me.”

Act I, Scene II

Casca speaks these lines to Cassius after Cassius asks him about Cicero; he responds that although other people understood and smiled, he could not understand anything. In other words, he means that everything to him was as if spoken in some foreign language. Hence, this phrase has become popular for use when a person does not understand the other person.

 Quote #4

 “But ’tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round.
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.”

Act II, Scene I

Brutus, a confidante of Caesar, speaks these lines to give a raison d’être (justification for existence) to his joining the conspirators. He thinks that humility makes a person compassionate but when a person becomes an authority or wins a good position, he becomes less humble. Therefore, when a person achieves a position, he does not look downward. He means that Caesar has become arrogant since becoming Emperor.

Quote #5

 “Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.”

Act II, Scene II

Caesar speaks these lines in response to Calpurnia, his wife, who tells him that he should not ignore warnings to his life, including her dream. However, Caesar merely terms it a coward’s act to stay alarmed. He says that a coward dies many times but a valiant person dies only once. Therefore, he does not care about these things.

Quote #6

“Et tu, Brutè?—Then fall, Caesar.”

Act III, Scene I

The conspirators attack Caesar when he is coming out. He sees Brutus among them, too, and questions whether it is Brutus, then says that his death is then predestined. This quote has become a catchphrase to identify a friend-turned-enemy, for Brutus was very close to Caesar before becoming a conspirator and killer.

Quote #7

“–Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
Rome more.”

Act III, Scene II

Brutus tries to justify the killing of Caesar in a very eloquent way, the hallmark of the Romans. He thinks that by equating patriotism to Caesar’s murder, he can exonerate himself from this heinous crime. He means that he loves both but loves his country more than his friend, Caesar.

Quote #8

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;”

Act III, Scene II

Mark Antony is presenting Caesar’s character in a very ironic way to arouse public suspicion about the culprits. He knows that if he resorts to clearly exposing the assassins, they will tear him apart, too. That is why he is using irony to show the people that goodness of Caesar is going with him in his grave, the reason that he has come to bury him.

Quote #9

“This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart:”

Act III, Scene II

Spoken by Mark Antony, these memorable lines say that when Caesar sees that all his friends have become traitors and have fallen upon him to kill him, then they would have found it easy to vanquish him, for his mighty heart would have burst with this surprise over this ingratitude of the traitors.

Quote #10

“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:”

Act V, Scene V

Antony again speaks about Caesar and Brutus and says a few words in praise of Brutus despite fighting against him. After killing Brutus, Antony praises him, calling him a fallen hero in that though he was a conspirator, he was also the noblest Roman whom Caesar once trusted.