SUMMARY: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is the story of the resulting conflicts from the assassination of perpetual dictator and Roman emperor, Julius Caesar.
A great friend of Caesar, Mark Antony, comes to the senate to see the dead body of their dictator. He pretends to not be angry at those who took part in the assassination, and asks to speak at his funeral, a request which he is granted. However, after the men leave, he begins a soliloquy in which he suggests that Caesar’s spirit will take revenge upon his murderers and invoke a war involving the entire country. Antony begins the revenge of his death by speaking at the funeral about the wrong done to Caesar, the man’s generosity to the people, and how Brutus tried to persuade them to believe his justification of the murder. The crowd turns to agreement with Antony and then accuse the conspirators of murder. The accused men flee, eventually leaving the bounds of the city, and the citizens leave to loot and burn the houses of the guilty men.
The armies of Brutus and Cassius set up camps near another city and knowing that Antony’s soldiers are coming, they decide to march toward the enemy at once. The fighting begins with the confrontation of the two sides, as Cassius’ and Brutus’ armies arrive. Antony and his partner challenge the assassins to fight, and the bloody battle begins. The armies of the conspirators fall into vulnerability many times, and their side does poorly, losing many men. Cassius hears mistakenly that one of his important soldiers has been captured, loses hope, and commits suicide, while Brutus feels that his army has been cornered, and throws himself onto another man’s sword, killing himself also.
They call off the rest of the battle, for Antony’s army now had victory over Brutus and Cassius, Caesar’s murder had been avenged, and order had been restored. CHARACTERS: There are a couple of main characters in this story. Caesar is well liked by the citizens of Rome, yet is a somewhat arrogant man and believes himself to be above everybody else. He is given praise often and honored by events such as a holiday in his name. However, several men do not agree that Caesar should have such a high title, as they despise his character. These six men conspire to kill the emperor to end what they see as his tyranny and oppression in Rome.
A man named Cassius organizes the event, while a powerful figure, Brutus, persuades Caesar to come to the senate, where he is to be killed. While the emperor argues with one of the conspirators, a man named Casca stabs him in the back, and the other men follow and wound him with their swords until he falls to the ground, dead. EVALUATION: In this play, Shakespeare gave morals to the audience about right and wrong and acting upon one’s opinion. He showed that one should not bring death to someone else based on their personal desires, or whether they believe it is in the best interest of their society, for they are only one person out of the many who have a voice. He also implies that if one commits an act of wrong, justified, or not, they can expect to be punished for it by the others who were hurt by those actions.