Julius Caesar

Type: 
History
First Performed: 
1599-1600
First Printed: 
1623
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It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

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Having defeated the sons of Pompey, Julius Caesar enters in triumph, flanked by his closest advisors, Brutus, Cassius, and Marc Antony. A soothsayer warns Caesar to “beware the Ides of March.”

Later, Brutus confides to Cassius his fear of Caesar becoming king. Cassius agrees that Caesar is too fallible to be treated as a god. Casca, the tribune, conveys to Brutus and Cassius that Antony offered the crown to Caesar three times and Caesar always refused. Brutus muses on Caesar’s unfitness to lead while Cassius develops a conspiratorial plot against Caesar.

Brutus begins to worry more deeply about Caesar becoming a tyrant. Cassius and the other conspirators arrive at Brutus’ home, where they agree to kill Caesar in the Senate that morning. Unaware that he is going to the Senate with his conspirators, Caesar gathers them and they depart.  

Ignoring another warning from the soothsayer, Caesar enters the Senate. As his closest advisors encircle him with false deference, they each stab him several times. The death blow is delivered by his trusted friend, Brutus. When Antony enters and sees the bloodshed, he cautiously swears allegiance to Brutus but when left alone with Caesar’s body, he pledges to avenge his death. Antony then speaks to the citizens, gradually turning them against the conspirators. He reads Caesar’s will, which leaves money to every citizen. The enraged crowd departs to find Brutus and Cassius.

Octavius Caesar arrives in Rome and joins forces with Antony. Octavius and Antony’s army outmaneuvers their opponents while Cassius and Brutus’ men begin deserting. The two conspiratorial leaders both die by their own swords, defeated. Antony finds Brutus’ body and orders an honorable burial, then departs with Octavius to celebrate their victory.