The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

by William Shakespeare

The Beginning, Act 1

The beginning of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar starts off with a group of men cheering for Caesar and his defeat against Pompey. Murellus and Flavius, who were supporters of Pompey, were angered by the noise of the people. They believed that they were two-faced and that they were not truly faithful to one power. Murellus and Flavius decide to pull the togas off Caesar's statue to try and slow him.

The next scene is when Caesar arrives and is walking through the town listening to the people cheer for him. While walking a blind prophet tells him to beware the Ides of March. Caesar has him step up and say it again. Caesar did not believe what he was saying and kept walking through the town. Later Brutus, Caesar's friend, and Cassius get together and begin to talk about Julius. Cassius tries to show that Caesar is human and that he is not a god. Cassius wants Brutus to turn his back on Caesar. Brutus tells Cassius that he loves Julius and that he hopes the people are crowning him. Brutus also states that he loves honor more than he fears death. There is shouting and they think that Caesar is getting crowned. Cassius uses this to say that Brutus is as good as Caesar. Brutus has him lay off for awhile and so he does.

When Caesar arrives they all look unhappy. Cassius calls for Antony and Caesar does not trust Cassius, but Antony assures him that he has nothing to worry about and Caesar just goes on. Brutus talks to Casca, on of Caesar's men and asks why Caesar was in a bad mood. Casca tells him that when they tried to give Caesar the crown it looked as though he didn't want it. What happened was he was about to faint and tried to get his attention. The crowd loved that Caesar didn't want the crown, so they try to give it to Caesar a second and third time and each time Caesar denies it and every time the crowd loved it more and more. Once Casca leaves Cassius believe that he can change Brutus' mind on killing Caesar. Cassius being conniving, decides that he will fake write letters that are supposedly by the town's people praising Brutus.

Later that night Cicero runs into Casca on the street that night. Casca believes that the god are having a civil war but he holds off on his crazy thinking. After Cicero confirmed that Caesar will be at the Capitol the following day, he leaves. Casca then runs into Cassius and is asking whether the gods are punishing him for going out for a light stroll. Casca being dumb as rocks asked Cassius if he was talking about Caesar and Cassius just does the old "maybe, maybe not" situation. Soon, Cassius ends up telling Casca his plan to kill Caesar and Casca says that he will not tell anyone. They end up running into Cinna and he believes it would be great for Brutus to kill Caesar. They keep talking and eventually they all agreed that they need Brutus' confirmation if he will be a part of killing Caesar. The following morning they would get there answer.

The Plan: Act 2

In the second act of Julius Caesar Brutus is pacing back and forth trying to figure out if assassinating Caesar is the right thing to do. His servant then comes in with a letter form the people accusing that he is sleeping while Rome is being threatened. There was a knock in the door and Cassius and a group of men walked in. They are all talking about Caesar and whether he truly is a threat to Rome Eventually they make the plan to assassinate Caesar the following day, on the Ides of March. When the conspirators leave Portia, Brutus' wife, enters and is trying to figure out what Brutus is up to. As she is trying to get the truth out of him she shows that she can take pain and shows him that she had stabbed her leg and has not complained about it. Brutus just tells her that she will know soon enough.

In the next scene Calpurinia, Caesar's wife, is having nightmare of Caesar. She believes that he should stay in that day because he dreams are of Caesar being killed. Caesar fights with her but eventually says that he will stay in for the day. Decius, who is a conspirator, enters and hears the news that Caesar is staying in. When he hears this he tells Caesar that listening to a woman would make him look weak and with him soon being king, he doesn't want to look weak.

Scene three is of Artemidorus writing a letter which has all of the conspirators names on it.

The last scene is of Portia sending her servant to the Capitol to see what Brutus is up to. When the Soothsayer enters Portia asked him if Caesar had left for the Capitol. The Soothsayer says that he know that Caesar hasn't left. He also says that he intends on going to the street to see if his men will let him talk to Caesar.

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The Beginning of the Battle: Act 4

In the beginning of Act 4 Antony, Octavius and Lepidus are gathered together to discuss who to kill in revenge of Caesar's death. When Lepidus goes to get Caesar;s will for them to edit, Octavius tells Antony that he was a poor choice. Octavius says "You may do your will;/ But he's tried and valiant soldier" (4.1.28). Antony then tells him that in the speech that he will later tell he will remove Lepidus from rule.

The next scene Brutus has brought his army from Sardis. A messenger tells Brutus that Cassius is no longer friendly. Brutus is angry he believes that Cassius is corrupt and greedy. Cassius wont give Brutus any money. Soon they calm down and becomes friends again. Once they become friendly Brutus tells Cassius that Portia is dead. Surprised by this he asked how and Brutus tells him that she killed herself because Antony and Octavius took power. When two men come they immediately stop talking and Brutus informs Cassius to not speak of Portia.

Brutus compares letters with Messala. they are informed that Antony's army is marching towards them from Greece. Then, Messala tells Brutus that they have killed over 100 senators, including Cicero, one of the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius try to figure out whether to wait or leave. They eventually agree to leave. That night Brutus cannot sleep and stars to read but the ghost of Julius Caesar appears. Brutus asked who it is, Caesar's ghost replies "Thy evil spirit, Brutus" (4.2.333). the ghost tells Brutus that in Phillipi, he will die. Brutus orders Claudio and Varrus to tell Cassius to march his army forth.

Audio of Act 4

Julius Caesar Act 4 by William Shakespeare

The End: Act 5

Act 5 started out on the plains of Phillipi where Octavius and Antony are happy that Brutus and Cassius foolishly came to the hills. The four of them confront each other and have a bit of a conference, ending with Antony and Octavius storming away. Cassius begins to worry and asked Brutus what he would do if they end up losing. Brutus rejected suicide saying it was "cowardly and vile" (104), but he includes that he would never return to Rome.

In the next scene the battle began and Brutus had a chance to attack Octavius' forces which are weakening. Brutus sends Cassius and orders to attack immediately. The next scene opens on another hill of the battlefield. Titinius warns the commander that Brutus gave the word to attack and Antony's men have them surrounded. Cassius hears of this and sends Pindarus to make sure that it wasnt Brutus' men that went to the battlefield. Cassius knows that Titinius will be captured and orders Pinduras to help him commit suicide. Pindarus goes to find Titinius and finds out htat hey were wrong. Brutus defeated Octavius' men and when they return they find Cassius' body. Titinius then takes Cassius' sword and kills himself. Brutus sees the bodies and plans another attack, but on Antony's men.

Scene 4, Brutus has gone to try and take Antony's troops but they are too strong and Brutus retreats. Lucilius pretends to be Brutus and is captured. Antony finds out that it is not Brutus but spares his life because of his bravery. In the final scene Brutus and his few men gather at a rock. Brutus tries to get his men to kill him but they refuse. Brutus' men flee as the enemy draws near. Only Brutus and Strato stay. Strato holds the sword for Brutus as he charges towards it saying his final words to Caesar, "Caesar, now be still; I kill'd not thee with half so good a will. (50-1). When Antony arrives seeing Brutus; body. Knowing that he was a defender of Rome he gives a speech of how much he loved rome and defended it. Brutus' body is put in Octavius' tent while they find a proper burial. The play then ends with "So call the field to rest; and let's away/To part the glories of this happy day" (80-81).