Julius Caesar is a play written by William Shakespeare in the year 1601. It resemble the play Hamlet, and it characterized his assassination in 44 B. C. and the defeat of the conspirators in the battle of Philipi. Its setting is Rome, the capital city of Italy. Most of the scenes are set in Rome and Philipi. The play begins in the street of Rome where the Roman citizens is celebrating Caesar’s triumphant return from the war. Although the title of the play is ‘Julius Caesar’ but Caesar is not the main character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is murdered at the beginning of the third act.
The play consists of V acts. And the protagonist of the play is Caius Cassius. Julius Caesar is largely set in Rome, in February of the year 44 B. C. In later scenes, the action moves to Sardis and the battlefield at Philippi. The physical landmarks of ancient Rome, such as the Tiber River, the Capitol, and the house of the Senate, are referred to with great frequency. The most complex character in this play, Brutus is one of the men who assassinate Caesar in the Senate.
Brutus is complex, because he does not kill Caesar for greed, envy nor to preserve his social position like so many of the other conspirators against Caesar. This Brutus makes very clear in his speech in Act III, Scene II (Lines 12-76), when he explains his actions as being for the good of Rome. Unlike the other conspirators, Brutus is in fact a dear friend of Caesar’s but kills his beloved friend not for he is, but what he could become as a King. It is for this reason that when Brutus dies by suicide in Act V, Mark Antony describes his bitter enemy by saying “This was the noblest Roman of them all”.
Mark Antony recognizes with these words that Brutus acted from a scene of civic duty, not malice, nor agreed nor envy. Brutus wishes for an ideal world. He is happily married, lives in a beautiful home, and is successful according to all measures of Roman living. However, Brutus wishes for perfection in his life, and although he loves Caesar, Brutus fears Caesar is too power hungry, and might possibly destroy the Republic. Cassius understands Brutus’ idealism and takes advantage of it in order to manipulate Brutus into joining the conspiracy against Caesar.
At heart, it is Brutus’ idealism that causes his ultimate downfall. Antony recognizes this fact when addressing Brutus’ dead body at the conclusion of the play, saying “This was the noblest Roman of them all” The mood of Julius Caesar is one of impending doom and catastrophe. From the beginning, danger lurks in every corner. Friends can no longer be trusted, as they turn to manipulation and conspiracy and plot their next moves. Images of violence, blood, and death dominate the visual texture of the play. The weighty political intrigue is always present throughout the drama.
The latter half of the play even assumes an eerie mood with the appearance of Caesar’s ghost, returning to seek revenge. The closing phase of the play is dominated by the sinister image of the sword. QUOTATIONS You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! (Scene 1 Act 1 Lines 27) Anaphora: repetition of you Metaphor: comparison of spectators to inanimate objects Alliteration: stones, senseless These lines are spoken by Marullus.
The tribunes, Marullus and Flavius, break up a gathering of Roman citizens who seek to celebrate Julius Caesar’s triumphant return from war. The victory is marked by public games in which Caesar’s friend, Mark Antony, takes part. On his way to the arena Caesar is stopped by a stranger who warns that he should ‘Beware the Ides (15 th ) of March. ‘ Fellow senators, Caius Cassius and Marcus Brutus, are suspicious of Caesar’s reactions to the power he holds in the Republic. They fear he will accept offers to become Emperor.
Cassius, a successful general himself, is jealous, while Brutus has a more balanced view of the political position. Cassius, Casca, and their allies, visit Brutus at night to persuade him of their views, and they plan Caesar’s death. Brutus is troubled but will not confide in his devoted wife, Portia. On the 15th March Caesar is urged not to go to the Senate by his wife, Calphurnia, who has had dreams that he will be murdered, and she fears the portents of the overnight storms.
He is nevertheless persuaded by flattery to go and as petitioners surround him Caesar is stabbed and dies as Brutus gives the final blow. Against Cassius’s advice Mark Antony is allowed by Brutus to speak a funeral oration in the market place after Brutus has addressed the people of Rome to explain the conspirators’ reasons and their fears for Caesar’s ambition. Brutus calms the crowd but Antony’s speech stirs them to rioting and the conspirators are forced to flee from the city.
Brutus and Cassius gather an army in Northern Greece and prepare to fight the forces led by Mark Antony, who has joined with Caesar’s great-nephew, Octavius, and with Lepidus. Away from Rome, Brutus and Cassius are filled with doubts about the future and they quarrel bitterly over funds for their soldiers’ pay. They make up the argument and despite the misgivings of Cassius over the site they prepare to engage Antony’s army at Philippi. Brutus stoically receives news of his wife’s suicide in Rome, but he sees Caesar’s ghost as he rests, unable to sleep on the eve of the conflict.
In the battle the Republicans at first appear to be winning but when his messenger’s horse seems to be overtaken by the enemy Cassius fears the worst and gets his servant, Pindarus, to help him to a quick death. Brutus, finding Cassius’s body, commits suicide as the only honourable action left to him. Antony, triumphant on the battlefield, praises Brutus as ‘the noblest Roman of them all’, and orders a formal funeral before he and Octavius return to rule in Rome. Finally, I have read the book, and I think it was an amazing play that Shakespeare wrote.
My best part was around the battle between Antony, Octavius, Lepidus and Cassius and Brutus in Philipi and this part makes me frightened. And for the ending, I was expecting the same thing, Brutus dies as the noblest Roman. The people I enjoy the most is Brutus because he killed Caesar without the mood of Jealousy but he feared that Caesar will be a tyrant. And from the book, I have learned that in life Jealousy might lead you to a disaster. And comparing to any other Shakespeare’s books, I think this book is similar to Hamlet since both are tragedies of reflection.