The Printable KISS Workbooks Shakespeare's Plays
(Code and Color Key)

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Act 4, Scene 2, 270-276
Analysis Key

     Part of this selection is in Nesbit's "Quotations from Shakespeare," but her version abbreviates the original. I have therefore followed The Norton Shakespeare Based on the Oxford Edition, N.Y., 1997, p. 1578. 

There [#1] is a tide (PN) {in the affairs} {of men}

[Adj. to "tide" Which, taken [#2] {at the flood}, leads on {to fortune}]; |

Omitted [#3], all the voyage {of their life}

Is bound [#4] {in shallows} and {in miseries}. |

{On such a full sea} are we now afloat (PA), |

And we must take the current (DO) [Adv. to "must take" when it serves],

Or lose our ventures (DO). |

1. Alternatively, this can be explained as an expletive construction.
2. "Taken" is a gerundive to "Which," which refers to "tide."
3. There are a number of possible explanations for "Omitted." Perhaps the easiest is to explain is as an ellipsed clausal construction -- "*If it is* omitted,..." Note, however, that the meaning of "omitted" depends upon an antonymical appositive relationship to "taken." In non-grammatical terms, we understand it as the alternative to "taken."
4. "Is bound" can be explained as a passive verb, but some people may prefer to see "bound" here as a predicate adjective. See "Passive Voice or Predicate Adjective."