Read an in-depth analysis of Julius Caesar. Casca relates to Cassius and Brutus how Antony offered the crown to Caesar three times and how each time. See how the different characters in Julius Caesar are linked together and how their relationships change over the course of the play. See them in family groups . The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a history play and tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to 4 Date and text; 5 Analysis and criticism Meanwhile, Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. . Brutus attempts to put the republic over his personal relationship with Caesar and kills him.
He values honour above all other virtues.
Things others say about them: He keeps this secret from his trusted wife. He dislikes the fact that Caesar has become like a king in the eyes of the Roman citizens and leads his friend Brutus to believe that Caesar must die.
He is impulsive and deceptive, sending Brutus forged letters to convince him to murder Caesar. He is shrewd and understands how the political world works but his friendship with Brutus means a lot to him. Despite never believing in omens, he starts to see signs of failure and loses confidence. When he senses defeat in battle, he knows it is time to die and kills himself with the blade that stabbed Caesar. Facts we learn about Cassius at the start of the play: He does not think Caesar deserves the power he has got.
He once saved Caesar from drowning and considers him physically weak.
Julius Caesar (play) - Wikipedia
His dislike of Caesar appears to be more personal than that of Brutus. He wants Brutus to believe these things too. Such men are dangerous. The last of all the Romans, fare thee well.
Relationships in Julius Caesar - words | Study Guides and Book Summaries
He begins the play as a victorious leader returning from battle. The people of Rome even offer to make him king and he seems to enjoy his power, even though he refuses the crown. Seen as too ambitious by the conspirators, he is eventually murdered by them to protect Rome and its ideals as a republic.
Facts we learn about Caesar at the start of the play: Meanwhile, Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. Although Brutus, friendly towards Caesar, is hesitant to kill him, he agrees that Caesar may be abusing his power.
They then hear from Casca that Mark Antony has offered Caesar the crown of Rome three times and that each time Caesar refused it with increasing reluctance, in hopes that the crowd watching the exchange would beg him to accept the crown, yet the crowd applauded Caesar for denying the crown, upsetting Caesar, due to him wanting to accept the crown.
On the eve of the ides of March, the conspirators meet and reveal that they have forged letters of support from the Roman people to tempt Brutus into joining. Brutus reads the letters and, after much moral debate, decides to join the conspiracy, thinking that Caesar should be killed to prevent him from doing anything against the people of Rome if he were ever to be crowned.
After ignoring the soothsayer, as well as his wife Calpurnia 's own premonitions, Caesar goes to the Senate. The conspirators approach him with a fake petition pleading on behalf of Metellus Cimber 's banished brother. As Caesar predictably rejects the petition, Casca and the others suddenly stab him; Brutus is last. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line " Et tu, Brute? Brutus delivers an oration defending his own actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side.
However, Mark Antony makes a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar's corpse, beginning with the much-quoted " Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! Antony, even as he states his intentions against it, rouses the mob to drive the conspirators from Rome.
Amid the violence, an innocent poet, Cinnais confused with the conspirator Lucius Cinna and is taken by the mob, which kills him for such "offenses" as his bad verses. Brutus next attacks Cassius for supposedly soiling the noble act of regicide by having accepted bribes. That night, Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus with a warning of defeat.
He informs Brutus, "Thou shalt see me at Philippi. During the battle, Cassius has his servant kill him 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 by running on his own sword, held for him by a loyal soldier. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained "the noblest Roman of them all"  because he was the only conspirator who acted, in his mind, for the good of Rome. There is then a small hint at the friction between Mark Antony and Octavius which characterises another of Shakespeare's Roman plays, Antony and Cleopatra.
The main source of the play is Thomas North 's translation of Plutarch 's Lives. Caesar's murder, the funeral, Antony's oration, the reading of the will and the arrival of Octavius all take place on the same day in the play.
However, historically, the assassination took place on 15 March The Ides of Marchthe will was published on 18 March, the funeral was on 20 March, and Octavius arrived only in May. Shakespeare makes the Triumvirs meet in Rome instead of near Bononia to avoid an additional locale.
He combines the two Battles of Philippi although there was a day interval between them.
Shakespeare gives Caesar's last words as " Et tu, Brute? Shakespeare deviated from these historical facts to curtail time and compress the facts so that the play could be staged more easily. The tragic force is condensed into a few scenes for heightened effect. Date and text[ edit ] The first page of Julius Caesar, printed in the Second Folio of Julius Caesar was originally published in the First Folio ofbut a performance was mentioned by Thomas Platter the Younger in his diary in September The play is not mentioned in the list of Shakespeare's plays published by Francis Meres in Based on these two points, as well as a number of contemporary allusions, and the belief that the play is similar to Hamlet in vocabulary, and to Henry V and As You Like It in metre,  scholars have suggested as a probable date.
The Folio text is notable for its quality and consistency; scholars judge it to have been set into type from a theatrical prompt-book. The characters mention objects such as hats and doublets large, heavy jackets — neither of which existed in ancient Rome. Caesar is mentioned to be wearing an Elizabethan doublet instead of a Roman toga.
At one point a clock is heard to strike and Brutus notes it with "Count the clock".
Analysis and criticism[ edit ] Historical background[ edit ] Maria Wyke has written that the play reflects the general anxiety of Elizabethan England over succession of leadership. At the time of its creation and first performance, Queen Elizabetha strong ruler, was elderly and had refused to name a successor, leading to worries that a civil war similar to that of Rome might break out after her death. Brutus sees Caesar's ghost.
Many have debated whether Caesar or Brutus is the protagonist of the play, because of the title character's death in Act Three, Scene One. But Caesar compares himself to the Northern Starand perhaps it would be foolish not to consider him as the axial character of the play, around whom the entire story turns. Intertwined in this debate is a smattering of philosophical and psychological ideologies on republicanism and monarchism.
One author, Robert C. Reynolds, devotes attention to the names or epithets given to both Brutus and Caesar in his essay "Ironic Epithet in Julius Caesar". Reynolds also talks about Caesar and his "Colossus" epithet, which he points out has its obvious connotations of power and manliness, but also lesser known connotations of an outward glorious front and inward chaos.