William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is the story of ambition, power and conspiracy.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Julius Caesar Play

Julius Caesar begins with Tribunes, Marullus and Flavius scolding Roman citizens for blindly worshipping Caesar. Their words reveals deep-seated fears that Caesar is growing too powerful and must be stopped. A little later, we see Caesar leading a procession through the streets of Rome. A Soothsayer (fortune teller) tells Caesar to beware the "ides of March [the 15th of March]", a warning that he will die on this day. It is ignored... Cassius, fearing Caesar's ever growing power, begins to recruit Brutus, a close friend of Caesar's, towards his conspiracy to assassinate him by implying that Caesar is becoming too powerful... Brutus is suspicious of Cassius' motives... Casca, another conspirator, reveals to Brutus information suggesting Cassius' fears may be real...

To ensure Brutus joins his conspiracy, Cassius has Cinna place some forged letters where Brutus will find them, convincing Brutus to join them; Brutus' good name will be an asset to their conspiracy... Brutus, unable to sleep, reveals his own fear of Caesar. Discovering the letter ,Brutus joins the conspiracy. The conspirators plan the assassination, Brutus arguing against Mark Antony also being assassinated...

Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, tells him that her dream foretells doom, convincing him not go to the Senate on the "ides of March" which is tomorrow. Decius Brutus, hearing this, goads Caesar into going so as not to look weak... Artemidorus and the Soothsayer both try to warn Caesar but fail. At the Senate, the conspirators kill Caesar. Mark Antony flees but later asks to speak at the funeral. Cassius thinks this is dangerous, but Brutus lets Mark Antony speak.

Brutus and Cassius explain to the citizens of Rome why they killed Caesar, gaining their support. Using the immortal words, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;" Mark Antony turns the citizens against Brutus and Cassius by making them feel remorse for Caesar's death and by informing them that his will gifts them money. The crowd, now a crazed mob, go after the conspirators. Mark Antony and ally Octavius start planning their attack on Brutus and Cassius.

Brutus argues with Cassius over Cassius' dishonesty, Brutus eventually forgiving him. Brutus meets Caesar's Ghost which tells Brutus he will see him again at Philippi. On the Plains of Philippi, Mark Antony's and Octavius' forces face Brutus' and Cassius' forces. Later in battle with Mark Antony and Octavius, Brutus sends orders via messenger Messala to Cassius' forces on the other side of the battlefield. Cassius' forces are losing ground to Mark Antony's forces. Brutus' army has defeated Octavius but are not helping Cassius.

Needing information, Cassius sends Titinius to a nearby hill to report if it is friendly or not. Cassius instructs Pindarus to report Titinius' progress to him. Pindarus sees Titinius pulled off his horse and fears Titinius has been captured. This would mean Brutus' forces have been beaten so Cassius kills himself on Pindarus' sword. Titinius returns, revealing that he was not captured but was greeted by Brutus' victorious forces. Brutus learns of Cassius' death. The battle rages on. Tired and weary, Brutus rests with his few remaining followers. One by one, Brutus asks Clitius, Dardanius and Volumnius to kill him but each refuses. Finally Brutus falls on his sword, killing himself. Octavius, Mark Antony, Messala and Lucilius now arrive. Strato explains how Brutus died. Mark Antony pays tribute to Brutus' noble spirit by famously saying, "This was the noblest Roman of them all..."


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V

Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards