Julius Caesar - Best of Shakespeare
Publisher: Astorg Audio
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the title is Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears alive in only three scenes. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism and friendship. The play opens with the commoners of Rome celebrating Caesar's triumphant return from defeating Pompey's sons at the battle of Munda. Two tribunes, Flavius and Marrullus, discover the commoners celebrating, insult them for their change in loyalty from Pompey to Caesar, and break up the crowd. They also plan on removing all decorations from Caesar's statues and ending any other festivities. In the next scene, during Caesar's parade on the feast of Lupercal, a soothsayer warns Caesar to "Beware the ides of March", a warning he disregards. The action then turns to the discussion between Brutus and Cassius. In this conversation, Cassius attempts to influence Brutus' opinions into believing Caesar should be killed, preparing to have Brutus join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained "the noblest Roman of them all" because he was the only conspirator who acted, in his mind, for the good of Rome. There is then a small hint at the friction between Mark Antony and Octavius which will characterize another of Shakespeare's Roman plays, Antony and Cleopatra.