Lucius in Julius Caesar

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If you are reading William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' you might find it hard to keep track of all the characters. In this lesson, we will take a look at Lucius and some of his most interesting activities in the play.

Brutus Summons Lucius

The very first time we meet Lucius is when Brutus asks him to wake up and bring him a candle. As Brutus's servant, one of his jobs is to wake up and help whenever Brutus asks. Since Brutus has to call to Lucius a few times, he comments that he wishes he had the problem of sleeping ''too soundly.'' In fact, throughout the play, Brutus comments how easy it is for Lucius to sleep. Brutus, on the other hand, cannot sleep because he is full of anxiety over his plan to assassinate Caesar. The fact that Lucius sleeps well may symbolize how easy it is to sleep and feel at peace when you are obedient. It could also be alluding to the fact that the more involved you are in politics, the more stress you have.

Once Lucius is awake, Brutus asks him to get a candle, and also asks him what the day is. Earlier in the play, a fortuneteller told Caesar to beware of March 15th; Brutus heard this warning and wants to keep track of the days. When Lucius returns to Brutus, Lucius hands him a letter he found and tells Brutus that the letter definitely wasn't there a few hours ago. The letter turns out to be an important turning point, because after Brutus reads it, he decides to join the conspiracy against Caesar. So even though Lucius is unaware of his role, he contributes to Brutus's decision.

Sleepy Head

Once Brutus decides to join the assassination, he holds meetings at his house and talks to the other conspirators. They plan their attack and encourage each other to stay strong in their convictions. Lucius does not get involved, but when the meetings are over, Brutus calls for Lucius again saying ''Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter; Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber: Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies.'' Once again, the simplicity of Lucius' life compared to Brutus' life is clear. Brutus struggles with his ''figures and fantasies'' while Lucius is simply asleep. Even though he is a servant, his life is easier in many ways.

Good Night Lucius

The last time we hear from Lucius is when Brutus is at battle. He has a rough day and calls for Lucius to bring him some wine. When Brutus is ready to go to sleep, Lucius brings Brutus his jammies. Brutus notices that Lucius seems tired, but he asks him to sing a song and play his instrument - most likely a lute - anyway. Lucius complies, but falls asleep while playing.

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