Julius Caesar (play)
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The ghost of Caesar taunts Brutus about his imminent defeat. (Copperplate engraving by Edward Scriven from a painting by Richard Westall: London, 1802.) The Tragedy of 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 plays written by Shakespeare 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 five scenes: the third in which the beginning of the third act shows his death; the fourth where his corpse is displayed in the common place; and his ghost appears towards the end of the fourth 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. Contents [hide] * 1 Characters * 2 Synopsis * 3 Date and text * 3.1 Deviations from Plutarch * 4 Analysis and criticism * 4.1 Historicism * 4.2 Protagonist debate * 5 Performance history * 6 Notable performances * 6.1 Screen performances * 7 Adaptations and cultural references * 8 See also * 9 References * 9.1 Footnotes * 9.2 Secondary sources * 10 External links
* 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) * A messenger * A cobbler * A carpenter * Other soldiers, senators, plebeians, and attendants
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 suspicion—implanted by Caius Cassius—that 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", 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...
References: 1. ^ Shakespeare, William; Arthur Humphreys (Editor) (1999). Julius Caesar. Oxford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-19-283606-4.
2. ^ Named in Parallel Lives and quoted in Spevack, Marvin (2004). Julius Caesar. New Cambridge Shakespeare (2 ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-521-53513-7.
9. ^ Wells and Dobson (2001, 229).
10. ^ Spevack (1988, 6), Dorsch (1955, vii–viii), Boyce (2000, 328), Wells, Dobson (2001, 229)
22. ^ Evans, G. Blakemore (1974). The Riverside Shakespeare. Houghton Mifflin Co. p. 1100.
25. ^ "Theatre: New Plays in Manhattan: Nov. 22, 1937". TIME. 22 November 1937. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
* Chambers, Edmund Kerchever. 1923. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 volumes, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-811511-3.
* Halliday, F. E. 1964. A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964. Shakespeare Library ser. Baltimore, Penguin, 1969. ISBN 0-14-053011-8.
* Houppert, Joseph W. “Fatal Logic in ‘Julius Caesar’ ”. South Atlantic Bulletin. Vol. 39, No.4. Nov. 1974. 3–9.
* Kahn, Coppelia. "Passions of some difference": Friendship and Emulation in Julius Caesear. Julius Caesar: New Critical Essays. Horst Zander, ed. New York: Routledge, 2005. 271–283.
* Reynolds, Robert C. “Ironic Epithet in Julius Caesar”. Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 24. No.3. 1973. 329–333.
* Taylor, Myron. "Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the Irony of History". Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 24, No. 3. 1973. 301–308.
* Wells, Stanley and Michael Dobson, eds. 2001. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare Oxford University Press
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