Julius Caesar (play)

The ghost of Caesar taunts Brutus about his imminent defeat. (Copperplate engraving by Edward Scriven from a painting by Richard Westall: London, 1802.)

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (First Folio title: The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar) is a history play and tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

Set in Rome in 44 BC, the play depicts the moral dilemma of Brutus as he joins a conspiracy led by Cassius to murder Julius Caesar to prevent him from becoming dictator of Rome. Following Caesar's death, Rome is thrust into a period of civil war, and the republic the conspirators sought to preserve is lost forever.

Although the play is named Julius Caesar, Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines as the title character; and the central psychological drama of the play focuses on Brutus' struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship.

Characters

Triumvirs after Caesar's death

Conspirators against Caesar

Tribunes

Roman Senate Senators

Citizens

Loyal to Brutus and Cassius

Other