Julius Caesar


Plot Summary

The play opens in February of the year 44 BCE. Julius Caesar has just returned to Rome, triumphant after defeating the sons of his rival, Pompey the Great, in a series of battles in Spain. Flavius and Murellus, two Roman city officials who remain loyal to the defeated and deceased Pompey, chastise a group of citizens for abandoning their work in order to watch Caesar’s victory parade. Caesar enters the scene surrounded by his closest political and military allies: Marc Antony, Caius Cassius and Marcus Brutus, as well as his wife Calpurnia and a number of other supporters. A Soothsayer shouts to Caesar the warning: “beware the Ides of March,” (meaning March 15th), but Caesar dismisses him as a “dreamer” and continues on.

Cassius and Brutus linger behind, after Caesar’s departure with the bulk of his entourage, to speak privately. Cassius expresses his concern that Brutus has grown distant, and is not as warm or loving toward Cassius as he used to be. Brutus explains that he has, in fact, been struggling with some inner turmoil. He is worried that the people of Rome have come to worship Caesar as a god, and that they want to crown him king and thus put an end to the republic. Cassius agrees, and points out that Caesar is no closer to being a god than he and Brutus are themselves. Cassius suggests that it is their own fault that Caesar has grown so powerful, and implies that it is therefore their own responsibility to take him down. Brutus promises to think about what Cassius has said. As Caesar returns with his entourage, he speaks to Marc Antony quietly, saying how he does not trust Cassius, for “He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.” He asks Marc Antony to give him his honest opinion of Cassius as the entourage departs again.

Brutus tugs the cloak of Casca, another politician, and asks him what happened during the parade. Casca tells them that Antony had offered a crown to Caesar three times, but each time Caesar refused to accept it. The Roman people cheered and were pleased with Caesar. After...

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Essays About Julius Caesar