Vexèd I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours.
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one)
Nor construe any further my neglect
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Recently, I've been worried by my own private thoughts and confused emotions and it may have had a bad effect on my behaviour.
Why has Brutus not been friendly towards Cassius lately and not been speaking to him? Why must they both be so careful about revealing their thoughts? What has Brutus been keeping to himself? Why do you think Brutus refers to himself in third person?
Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Brutus, I misunderstood your feelings and because of this, have kept some very important thoughts to myself.
Deep thinking and processing.
No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself
But by reflection, by some other things.
A man cannot see himself unless he is reflected in something (like a mirror).
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
And groaning underneath this age’s yoke,
Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.
I have heard many important Romans, apart from the ‘god-like’ Caesar, talk about you. They are complaining about the tyranny of today’s government and wishing you could see yourself as nobly as they do.
Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
What does Brutus think Cassius is asking him to do? He has just compared him to Caesar, but what is Brutus’ reaction?
(Text edited for rehearsals by Angus Jackson)