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Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare
ENGLISH PROJECT
About the Author
The English writer and poet William Shakespeare is considered the
greatest playwright of all time. Unfortunately, we don’t know many details
about his biography. There are no portraits, pictures or drawings of
Shakespeare while he was still alive. Shakespeare married at 18 and wrote
his first known play when he was 25 years old; he also acted in some of
the plays. Shakespeare only finished grammar school and never studied in
the university. There are over 80 different translations of his plays and
poems. The number of translations of Shakespeare’s works all over the
world is second only to the Bible.More than 25,000 different words are
used in the works of Shakespeare, including many that he created. Most
people use only 2,000 or 2,500 words in speaking and writing: so,
Shakespeare used ten times the normal amount of words !
A really surprising fact: the great writer’s wife and children were all illiterate!
Introduction
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by
William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC
conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the
defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman
plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which
also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the central character
in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the
third act. The protagonist of the play is Marcus Brutus, and the central
psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour,
patriotism, and friendship.
The play reflected the general anxiety of England over succession of leadership.
At the time of its creation and first performance, Queen Elizabeth, a strong ruler,
was elderly and had refused to name a successor, leading to worries that a civil
war similar to that of Rome might break out after her death.
SYNOPSIS
JULIUS CAESAR is the story of a man's personal dilemma over moral action, set
against a backdrop of strained political drama. Julius Caesar, an able general and
a conqueror returns to Rome amidst immense popularity after defeating the
sons of Pompey. The people celebrate his victorious return and Mark Antony
offers him the Crown which he refuses. Jealous of Caesar's growing power and
afraid he may one day become a dictator, Cassius instigates a conspiracy to
murder Caesar. He realises that to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Romans, he
must win over the noble Brutus to his side for Brutus is the most trusted and
respected in Rome. Brutus, the idealist, joins the conspiracy feeling that
everyone is driven by motives as honourable as his own. Ironically, Caesar is
murdered at the foot of Pompey's
Summary of the play
Julius Caesar is highly successful but
ambitious political leader of Rome and his
goal is to become an unassailable
dictator. Caesar is warned that he must
"beware the Ides of March" . The
prophecy comes true and Caesar is
assassinated. Marcus Brutus is a well
respected Roman senator who helps plan
and carry out Caesar's assassination
which he believes will rid Rome of a
tyrant. Caesar's friend Mark Antony
provides the famous funeral oration
("Friends, Romans, and countrymen…")
Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable
defeat. Brutus, the noble Roman, whose
decision to take part in the conspiracy for
the sake of freedom, plunges his country
into civil war.
Characters
• Julius Caesar
• Calpurnia: Wife of Caesar
• Octavius Caesar, Marcus Antonius, M.
Aemilius Lepidus: Triumvirs after the death
of Julius Caesar
• Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena: Senators
• Marcus Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Trebonius,
Ligarius, Decius Brutus, Metellus Cimber,
Cinna: Conspirators against Julius Caesar
• Portia: Wife of Brutus
HISTORY
• A politically adept and popular leader of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar significantly transformed
what became known as the Roman Empire, by greatly expanding its geographic reach and establishing
its imperial system.While it has long been disputed, it's estimated that Julius Caesar was born in Rome
on July 12 or 13, 100 BC. While he hailed from Roman aristocrats, his family was far from rich. When
Caesar was 16 his father, Gaius Caesar, died. He remained close to his mother, Aurelia.The Rome of
Caesar's youth was unstable. An element of disorder ruled the Republic, which had discredited its
nobility and seemed unable to handle its considerable size and influence.At around the time of his
father's death, Caesar made a concerted effort to side with the country's nobility. His marriage to
Cornelia, the daughter of a noble, had drawn the ire of Rome's dictator, Sulla, who ordered the young
Roman to divorce his wife or risk losing his property. Caesar refused and found escape in the military,
serving first in the province of Asia and then in Cilicia.Following the death of Sulla, Caesar returned to
Rome to begin his career in politics as a prosecuting advocate. He relocated temporarily to Rhodes to
study philosophy, but during his travels there was kidnapped by pirates. In a daring display of his
negotiation and counter-insurgency tactics, he convinced his captors to raise his ransom. He then
organized a naval force to attack them. The pirates were captured and executed. His stature was
enhanced further in 74 BC when he put together a private army and combated Mithradates VI Eupator,
king of Pontus, who had declared war on Rome.When Caesar returned to Rome he began to work with
Pompey, a former lieutenant under Sully, who'd switched sides following the dictator's death. Not long
after, in 68 or 69 BC, Caesar was elected quaestor (a base political office) and then went to serve in
several other key government positions under Pompey.His personal life meanwhile offered up tragedy
when his wife, Cornelia, passed away in 69 BC. Two years later he remarried, taking Pompeia, a distant
relative of Pompey, as his wife. Their marriage lasted just a few years, and in 62 BC the couple
divorced.Caesar's political ascendency, however, continued. In 61-60 BC he served as governor of the
Roman province of Spain. He also continued his close alliance with Pompey, which enabled him to get
elected as consul, a powerful government position, in 59 BC.

Charactersketchs

JULIUS CEASER
MARCUS BRUTUS
MARK ANTONY
JULIUS CAESAR
Julius Caesar is highly successful but ambitious political leader of Rome and his goal is
to become an unassailable dictator. The conspirators charge Caesar with ambition,
and his behavior substantiates this judgment: he does vie for absolute power over
Rome, reveling in the homage he receives from others and in his conception of
himself as a figure who will live on forever in men’s minds. However, his faith in his
own permanence—in the sense of both his loyalty to principles and his fixture as a
public institution—eventually proves his undoing. At first, he stubbornly refuses to
heed the nightmares of his wife, Calpurnia, and the supernatural omens pervading the
atmosphere. Though he is eventually persuaded not to go to the Senate, Caesar
ultimately lets his ambition get the better of him, as the prospect of being crowned
king proves too glorious to resist. Caesar’s conflation of his public image with his
private self helps bring about his death, since he mistakenly believes that the
immortal status granted to his public self somehow protects his mortal body. Still, in
many ways, Caesar’s faith that he is eternal proves valid by the end of the play: by Act
V, scene iii, Brutus is attributing his and Cassius’s misfortunes to Caesar’s power
reaching from beyond the grave. Caesar’s aura seems to affect the general outcome
of events in a mystic manner, while also inspiring Octavius and Antony and
strengthening their determination. As Octavius ultimately assumes the title Caesar,
Caesar’s permanence is indeed established in some respect.
MARCUS BRUTUS
Brutus emerges as the most complex character in Julius Caesar and is also the
play’s tragic hero. In his soliloquies, the audience gains insight into the
complexities of his motives. He is a powerful public figure, but he appears also as
a husband, a master to his servants, a dignified military leader, and a loving
friend. The conflicting value systems that battle with each other in the play as a
whole are enacted on a microcosmic level in Brutus’s mind. Even after Brutus has
committed the assassination with the other members of the conspiracy,
questions remain as to whether, in light of his friendship with Caesar, the murder
was a noble, decidedly selfless act or proof of a truly evil callousness, a gross
indifference to the ties of friendship and a failure to be moved by the power of a
truly great man.
MARK ANTONY
Antony proves strong in all of the ways that Brutus proves weak. His impulsive,
improvisatory nature serves him perfectly, first to persuade the conspirators that
he is on their side, thus gaining their leniency, and then to persuade the
plebeians of the conspirators’ injustice, thus gaining the masses’ political
support. Not too scrupulous to stoop to deceit and duplicity, as Brutus claims to
be, Antony proves himself a consummate politician, using gestures and skilled
rhetoric to his advantage. He responds to subtle cues among both his nemeses
and his allies to know exactly how he must conduct himself at each particular
moment in order to gain the most advantage. In both his eulogy for Caesar and
the play as a whole, Antony is adept at tailoring his words and actions to his
audiences’ desires. Unlike Brutus, who prides himself on acting solely with
respect to virtue and blinding himself to his personal concerns, Antony never
separates his private affairs from his public actions.