The story of Julius Caesar’s assassination has been told both historically and fictionally. Historical sources focus on the facts of the assassination, while fictionary works focus more on the characters and the drama of the story. Because of the different purposes of the sources, there are many differences between the historical and fictional stories. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar adds certain details and dramatic elements to make the story more interesting and to make the play more enjoyable. William Shakespeare, renowned worldwide as one of the greatest playwrights of all time, was a man who was captivated by history. He wrote a number of histories for previous kings of England, including Richard the Lionheart, Henry VIII, and King John, but it is for his tragedies, which he is best known. Shakespearean tragedies manage to convey more than they intend to in their study of life and its essential futility, and are by far Shakespeare's most acclaimed works. From HAMLET to ROMEO AND JULIET, Shakespeare's classic plays concerning the great inevitable are arguably his best. JULIUS CAESAR is no exception. Shakespeare got most of his information from Plutarch so the differences are slim.
1) Shakespeare made a long speech given by Marcus Antonius. While records of a speech we are unsure what the speech said.
2) Brutus's emotional connection to Caesar in the play is noted, but not really showed in the lines. Plutarch explains how Sevillia was Caesar's love and how Brutus and Caesar had a father and son relationship in both the lives of Brutus and the Lives of Julius Caesar
3)The omens in Calpurinia's dream. Shakespeare read in Plutarch that there were omens predicting the death of Caesar before the Ides, but like the speech, we are unsure what these are. Shakespeare uses a poetic license to depict what Plutarch had said.
4) Plutarchs version is more sympathetic to Caear's situation. Shakespeare shows him to be an insensitive and conceited person thinking only of himself. This is shown by his reaction to Calpurnia's dream. After her description of her dream he says, "Caesar shall forth. The things that threatened me Ne'er looked but on my back; when they shall see the face of Caesar, they are vanished." This attitude to a warning implying that he was given fair warning and his death was partially due to his over confidence. On the other hand Plutarch gives him a more sensitive reaction to the dream in saying, "Caesar himself, it seems was affected and by no means easy in his mind."
5) Plutarch's writings show the long string of coincidences almost as Fate were deeming it necessary for him to die, and that he had no control over it. "...the scene of the final struggle and of the assassination made it perfectly clear that some heavenly power was involved...directing that it" (the assassination) "should take place just here. For here stood a statue of Pompey..." this stating that Caesar's murder was the deceased Pompey's revenge for he was killed by Caesar. Whereas, Shakespeare does not say anything about the statue and shows the same coincidences in the play as warnings to him that out of his own stupidity he did not take.
6) After Caesar's death the Romans were enraged to revenge him at the sight of his body and out of their love for him, in Plutarch's writing. In Shakespeare's the Roman were enraged but quelled by Brutus' speech and enraged again by Antony's, this showing the Roman to be mindless.
Originally performed in 1599, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays. It however, like most of Shakespeare’s dramatic works, was not born solely of the author’s mind. The story of Caesar, and beyond that the history of Rome, was well known to Elizabethan England. Britons felt their ancestry was tied to the ancient Roman republic, and many felt that parts of London itself (the London Tower,...
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