Julius Caesar

Body, Blood, & Pain Symbol Analysis

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Body, Blood, & Pain Symbol Icon

In Julius Caesar, the human body echoes the body politic. For example, Caius Ligarius describes the murder of Caesar as “a piece of work that will make sick men whole,” or restore an ailing Rome to health. Anxious about the conspiracy, the sleepless Brutus describes a rebellion in the “little kingdom” of his body, which echoes both present and coming civil unrest. And Calpurnia's dream about Caesar's bleeding statue is reinterpreted to mean that Rome draws its life from Caesar, as if his health were synonymous with the city's. Later, when the conspirators bathe themselves in Caesar’s blood, it’s an ambiguous expression of their complicity in Rome’s impending power struggle, even as they display the blood as a symbol of Rome’s liberty from tyranny.

Body, Blood, & Pain Quotes in Julius Caesar

The Julius Caesar quotes below all refer to the symbol of Body, Blood, & Pain. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The Folger Shakespeare Library edition of Julius Caesar published in 1992.
Act 2, scene 1 Quotes

I grant I am a woman; but withal a woman that Lord Brutus took to wife; I grant I am a woman; but withal a women well reputed, Cato's daughter. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, being so father'd, and so husbanded? Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose'em. I have made a strong proof of my constancy, giving myself a voluntary wound here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience, and not my husband's secrets?

Related Characters: Portia (speaker), Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain
Page Number: 2.1.315-325
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, scene 2 Quotes

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker)
Related Symbols: Omens, Body, Blood, & Pain
Page Number: 2.2.34-39
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, scene 1 Quotes

Et tu, Bruté? — Then fall, Caesar!

Related Characters: Julius Caesar (speaker), Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.1.85
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.

Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker)
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.1.299
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes

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;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, —
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men, —
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.

Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 3.2.82-96
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, scene 3 Quotes

Remember March, the ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What, shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

Related Characters: Marcus Brutus (speaker), Julius Caesar
Related Symbols: Omens, Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 4.3.19-29
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, scene 5 Quotes

This was the noblest Roman of 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.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, "This was a man."

Related Characters: Mark Antony (speaker), Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus
Related Symbols: Body, Blood, & Pain, Rome
Page Number: 5.5.74-81
Explanation and Analysis:
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Body, Blood, & Pain Symbol Timeline in Julius Caesar

The timeline below shows where the symbol Body, Blood, & Pain appears in Julius Caesar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 1
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...assassination, Brutus feels as though there is a rebellion in the “little kingdom” of his body. (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...that’s necessary. The people shout their approval of Brutus. As Mark Antony enters with Caesar’s body, Brutus departs, charging the crowds to hear what they’ve given Antony permission to say. (full context)
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...Antony to descend from the pulpit, and they all gather in a ring around Caesar’s body. (full context)
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...by Brutus. As the people weep, Antony lifts the mantle so they can see Caesar’s body itself. The people cry out for revenge, swearing to follow Antony to the death. (full context)