Scene 4.2 - Sardis, in what is now western Turkey. Brutus' tent in his army's camp
Brutus anxiously awaits the arrival of Cassius and his army. When Cassius' servant, Pindarus, comes before him, Brutus tells Pindarus that he is upset with Cassius and wishes to speak with him immediately. Brutus takes one of his men, Lucillius, aside to ask him about Cassius. Lucillius says that Cassius is not as friendly as he used to be. Brutus suspected as much, and he criticizes those friends who abandon him in times of crisis.
Cassius arrives with his armies. Cassius is upset with Brutus, and he starts to argue with Brutus. Brutus says that they shouldn't argue in front of their armies, and so they go into Brutus' tent.
They squabble about issues of honor and money. Cassius is upset that Brutus punished a friend of his for taking bribes. Brutus mocks Cassius by saying that he is willing to accept bribes, too. Brutus refuses bribes (even though he needs the money) because that would taint their noble enterprise. Cassius is getting angry, and he threatens Brutus. Brutus stands firm and challenges Cassius to a fight, but Cassius backs off. Brutus is upset because Cassius denied him the money he needed to pay his soldiers. Cassius claims that he did not do that, but Brutus doesn't believe him. In order to prove that he is telling the truth, Cassius gives Brutus his dagger and tells Brutus to stab him like he stabbed Caesar. Brutus, convinced by Cassius' act of courage, forgives Cassius, and Cassius in turn forgives Brutus.
A poet, worried that Brutus and Cassius might kill each other left alone, barges into Brutus' tent and tells them to make peace. They have just done so, and so they mock the poet's skills and drive him out.
To drink to their renewed friendship, Brutus asks his servant for a bowl of wine. Brutus confides to Cassius that his wife Portia killed herself when she heard about Antony and Octavius becoming so strong. Cassius expresses his sorrow over Brutus' loss and regret over their recent squabble. Brutus tells Cassius to drop the matter altogether, and they drink wine together.
Titinius and Messala enter to discuss the battle strategy with Brutus and Cassius. They have heard that Antony and Octavius march toward Philippi. They discuss the execution of many senators by the order of the triumvirate. Messala then tries to break the news to Brutus that Portia is dead because he believes that Brutus doesn't already know this. Brutus then accepts the news of Portia's death calmly and tells them all to move onto the matter at hand, the strategy for the battle at Philippi. Cassius says that they should wait for Antony and Octavius to find them because it will tire their men out. Brutus argues that they should march toward Philippi for two reasons: Antony and Octavius would pick up more men on their way to find Brutus and Cassius because the peoples en route do not like them, and the armies of Brutus and Cassius are as big as they will ever be - while the armies of Antony and Octavius grow every day. Cassius agrees, and they all decide to get some sleep.
Brutus is alone. His servant Lucius comes in, and Brutus asks him to bring some of his other servants to sleep in his tent in case he needs to call on them. When they arrive, Brutus asks Lucius to play a tune to help them sleep. Lucius is so tired that he falls asleep while playing. The other servants have fallen asleep but Brutus is still awake, and so he picks up a book to read. The ghost of Caesar enters, and the frightened Brutus asks the ghost what it is and what it wants. The ghost says that it will see Brutus again at Philippi. Brutus, not sure whether it was his imagination, wakes everyone up in his tent to ask if they saw the ghost. They all say they were asleep and didn't see anything.
Browse all Studyworld Studynotes|
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Scenes 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4
Scenes 3.2 and 3.3
Scenes 5.1 and 5.2
Scenes 5.4 and 5.5