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Julius Caesar The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed

to have been written in 1599.[1] 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 is Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship. ] Characters

Julius Caesar Calpurnia: Wife of Caesar Octavius, Mark Antony, Lepidus: Triumvirs after the death of Julius Caesar Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena: Senators Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Trebonius, Ligarius, Decius Brutus, Metellus Cimber, Cinna: Conspirators against Julius Caesar Portia: Wife of Brutus Flavius and Marullus: Tribunes Artemidorus: a Sophist of Cnidos A Soothsayer

Cinna: A poet, who is not related to the conspiracy Lucilius, Titinius, Messala, Cato the Younger, Volumnius, Strato: Friends to Brutus and Cassius Varro, Clitus, Claudius: Soldiers in the armies of Brutus and Cassius Labe, Flavius: Officers in the army of Brutus Lucius, Dardanius: Servants to Brutus Pindarus: Servant to Cassius A Poet (believed to be based on Marcus Favonius)[2] A messenger A cobbler A carpenter Other soldiers, senators, plebeians, and attendants

Synopsis Marcus Brutus is Caesar's close friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to be cajoled into joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicionimplanted by Caius Cassiusthat Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule. The early scenes deal mainly with Brutus's arguments with Cassius and his struggle with his own conscience. The growing tide of public support soon turns Brutus against Caesar (this public support was actually faked; Cassius wrote letters to Brutus in different handwritings over the next month in order to get Brutus to join the conspiracy). A soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March",[3] which he ignores, culminating in his assassination at the Capitol by the conspirators that day, despite being warned by the soothsayer and Artemidrous, one of Caesar's supporters at the entrance of the Capitol. Caesar's assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play, occurring in Act 3 (the other is Marc Antony's oration "Friends, Romans, countrymen.") After ignoring the soothsayer as well as his wife's own premonitions, Caesar comes to the Senate. The conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber, pleading on behalf of his banished brother. As Caesar, predictably, rejects the petition, Casca grazes Caesar in the back of his neck, and the others follow in stabbing him; Brutus is last. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line "Et tu, Brute?"[4] ("And you, Brutus?", i.e. "You too, Brutus?"). Shakespeare has him add, "Then fall, Caesar," suggesting that Caesar did not want to survive such treachery, therefore becoming a hero. The conspirators make clear that they committed this act for Rome, not for their own purposes and do not attempt to flee the scene. After Caesar's death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony, with a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar's corpsebeginning with the much-quoted "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears"[5]deftly turns public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus's speech. Antony rouses the mob to drive the conspirators from Rome. Amid the violence, the innocent poet, Cinna, is confused with the conspirator Lucius Cinna and is murdered by the mob. The beginning of Act Four is marked by the quarrel scene, where Brutus attacks Cassius for soiling the noble act of regicide by accepting bribes ("Did not great

Julius bleed for justice' sake? / What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, / And not for justice?"[6]) The two are reconciled; they prepare for war with Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son, Octavian (Shakespeare's spelling: Octavius). That night, Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus with a warning of defeat ("thou shalt see me at Philippi"[7]). At the battle, Cassius and Brutus knowing they will probably both die, smile their last smiles to each other and hold hands. During the battle, Cassius commits suicide after hearing of the capture of his best friend, Titinius. After Titinius, who was not really captured, sees Cassius's corpse, he commits suicide. However, Brutus wins that stage of the battle - but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained "the noblest Roman of them all"[8] because he was the only conspirator who acted for the good of Rome. There is then a small hint at the friction between Mark Antony and Octavius which will characterise another of Shakespeare's Roman plays, Antony and Cleopatra.