Julius Caesar by William ShakespeareA EnglishProject Work
IntroductionThe Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, isa tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictatorJulius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at theBattle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespearewrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also includeCoriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the centralcharacter in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed atthe beginning of the third act. The protagonist of the play is MarcusBrutus, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between theconflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship. The play reflected the general anxiety of England over succession ofleadership. At the time of its creation and first performance, QueenElizabeth, a strong ruler, was elderly and had refused to name asuccessor, leading to worries that a civil war similar to that of Romemight break out after her death.
Summary of the playJulius Caesar is a highly successful butambitious political leader of Rome and hisgoal is to become an unassailable dictator.Caesar is warned that he must "beware theIdes of March" . The prophecy comes trueand Caesar is assassinated. Marcus Brutus is awell respected Roman senator who helps planand carry out Caesars assassination which hebelieves will rid Rome of a tyrant. Caesarsfriend Mark Antony provides the famousfuneral oration ("Friends, Romans, andcountrymen…") Brutus and Cassius meettheir inevitable defeat. Brutus, the nobleRoman, whose decision to take part in theconspiracy for the sake of freedom, plungeshis 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• Flavius and Marullus: Tribunes• Artemidorus: a Sophist of Cnidos• A Soothsayer (Also called Fortuneteller)
Calpurnia Born 75 BC Daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus and sister of Lucius Calpurnius Piso, A Roman woman and the third and last wife of Julius Caesar. The great-granddaughter of a lieutenant of Lucius Cassius Longinus, whose name was Lucius Piso. The grandfather of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesonius was killed by the Tigurini during the Gallic Wars, as was Lucius Cassius Longinus.
Brutus Of Noble Heritage Brutus is a Roman nobleman, aswas his father Sincere: Brutus truly believes that his role in theassassination is for the good of Rome Honest: He refuses to take bribes Naive: He believes in the essential goodness of thosearound him Philosophical: His philosophies guide his actions anddecisions.
CassiusEnvious: Cassius has contempt for Caesar and envies CaesarspositionFearful: Cassius is afraid that Caesar has ambitions to be king. Hefears what might become of Rome in such an instance.Politically Astute: He advises Brutus to assassinate Antony alongwith Caesar. Understanding what can happen, he advises Brutus not toallow Antony to speak at Caesars funeral.Corrupt: Prior to the battle at Philippi, he is accused by Brutus oftaking bribesMilitary Strategist: His battle plan for Philippi is well thought outand based on sound military principles
Marc AntonyLoyal to Caesar: Antony loved and admired CaesarClever: Antony pretends to befriend the conspirators andasks that he be allowed to speak at Caesars funeralA skilled orator: Antonys speech at Caesars funeralsways the crowdHard: Antonys role in condemning men to death showshe can be as cold hearted as he is passionate A skilled military leader: Antony has an equal voice inplanning the war against the legions of Brutus and Cassius
His Name Gaius Julius Caesar Julius was the family name. The name of Gaius’Gaius was his given branch of the Julius name, one of only family was “Caesar,”eight names which which originally meant could be given to “hairy.” boys. Hair.
The Julius family claimed to be descended fromRomulus, Aeneas, and thence Venus, which wouldmake them all partly divine. However, his immediate family was anything but godlike. Although patricians, the Caesars were so poor that they lived among the plebeians in an insula (bad apartment) in the Subura, a very poor part of Rome.
It is likely that Caesar was beaten as a child, but thisApart from this, Caesar had a was not uncommon, ashealthy family life. Historians strict obedience wassay that he had a very good extremely important to themother, Aurelia, whom he Roman family at the time.loved very much. His father was something of a nobody, though he did serve as praetor, and he died when Caesar was 15.
THEMES Major Themes The major theme of Julius Caesar is that misused power is a corruptive force. This is seen in the fact that Caesar is a dictator suspected of being tyrannous, that Cassius is so power hungry that he assassinates Caesar, hoping to become more powerful himself, and that Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus become a dictatorial and tyrannical Triumvirate, worse than Caesar ever hinted at being. Minor Themes• goodness of loyalty, honor, and friendship;• the evil of pride, conspiracy, and anarchy;• the logic of political order;• and the viability of republicanism as a form of government.
His Antagonists• Caesars antagonists are Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators who do not want him to become the head of the Roman Empire.• They plot to overthrow Caesar and assassinate him outside the Capitol; he is an easy target because of his fatal flaw - his extreme "hubris" or pride.• Many times, Caesar is nearly saved by omens and warnings, but he disregards them, thinking himself infallible.• He is so proud that he is easily flattered, leading him to think less strategically and placing himself in grave danger.
Famous Quotes / Quotations"Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears; I come tobury Caesar, not to praise him". - (Act III, Scene II)."But, for my own part, it was Greek to me". - (Act I, SceneII)."Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war". - (Act III, SceneI)."Et tu, Brute!" - (Act III, Scene I)."Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". -(Act III, Scene II)."Beware the Ides of March". - (Act I, Scene II)."This was the noblest Roman of them all". - (Act V, Scene V).
Information provided about the playWilliam Shakespeare never published any of his plays andtherefore none of the original manuscripts have survived.Eighteen unauthorized versions of his plays were, however,published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulouspublishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeareand his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of hisworks did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years afterShakespeares death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellowactors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumouslyrecorded his work and published 36 of William’s plays in theFirst Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates aresubstantiated by historical events, records of performances andthe dates plays appeared in print.
About the AuthorThe English writer and poet William Shakespeare is considered thegreatest playwright of all time. Unfortunately, we don’t know manydetails about his biography.There are no portraits, pictures or drawings of Shakespeare while hewas still alive. Shakespeare married at 18 and wrote his first known playwhen he was 25 years old; he also acted in some of the plays.Shakespeare only finished grammar school and never studied in theuniversity.There are over 80 different translations of his plays and poems. Thenumber of translations of Shakespeare’s works all over the world issecond 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 2,500words in speaking and writing: so, Shakespeare used ten times thenormal amount of words!A really surprising fact: the great writer’s wife and children were allilliterate!
The Globe TheatreThis is the Globe Theatre, London. It’s a modern reconstructionof the ancient theatre where Shakespeare’s company acted.Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the original theatre in the 17thcentury. The new Globe Theatre was opened to public in 1997.