Julius Caesar

Rome Symbol Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Rome Symbol Icon

In the play, Rome, because of its centrality in the history of Western civilization, often symbolizes the world in microcosm. For example, in Act 1, Cassius appeals to Brutus’s sense of honor by urging him to “think of the world,” i.e., the well-being of Rome.  In fact, Brutus’s entire obsession with the good of Rome versus his love for Caesar symbolizes the conflict between social good and individual desire. On an interpersonal level, after Cassius commits suicide, Titinius laments that “the sun of Rome is set” and that the world is darkened by his friend’s absence.

Rome Quotes in Julius Caesar

The Julius Caesar quotes below all refer to the symbol of Rome. 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 1, scene 2 Quotes

But those that understood him smil'd at one another, and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me.

Related Characters: Casca (speaker), Julius Caesar
Related Symbols: Rome
Page Number: 1.2.293-295
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:
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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:
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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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Rome Symbol Timeline in Julius Caesar

The timeline below shows where the symbol Rome appears in Julius Caesar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...and a cobbler, to find out why crowds of people are flooding the streets of Rome. After a pun-filled exchange, the cobbler reveals that they are celebrating Caesar’s triumphal return. (full context)
Act 1, scene 2
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...to tell him what’s on his mind—whatever it is. If it’s for the good of Rome, he’ll accept it, since he loves honor more than he fears death. (full context)
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...words, it’s their fault if they are beneath Caesar. He argues that the people of Rome should be ashamed if they only have enough room for one great man. Brutus replies... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...the letter by the light of whizzing meteors. It says, “Awake, and see thyself! Shall Rome, etc. Speak, strike, redress!” Brutus interprets this to mean that he, like his ancestors who... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...blood. Decius replies that this dream is actually fortunate—it signifies that Caesar’s blood will revive Rome. Besides, the Senate is planning to give Caesar a crown today, and if Caesar stays... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...if Antony could see their hearts, he’d know that they’ve acted out of pity for Rome in general and that they receive him with love. He adds that they will explain... (full context)
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
...a servant of Octavius Caesar enters, telling Antony that Octavius is on his way to Rome. Antony tells the servant that after his funeral speech, they’ll have a better sense of... (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
...against Caesar not because he loved Caesar less than anyone present, but because he loved Rome above all. Insofar as Caesar was good, Brutus honors him, but insofar as he was... (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...will he be content to be led as a defeated captive through the streets of Rome. The two say farewell to each another. (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...they discover Cassius’s body on the ground. Titinius grieves his friend’s death: “the sun of Rome is set” because Cassius didn’t trust that Titinius would be successful in his scouting errand.... (full context)
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...ghost “walks abroad and turns our swords / In our own proper entrails,” and that Rome will never produce an equal to Cassius. He sends Cassius’s body outside the camp for... (full context)