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

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
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
Shakespeare
based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus
Coriolanus
and Antony and Cleopatra. 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 honor, patriotism, and friendship.

Contents

1 Characters 2 Synopsis 3 Sources

3.1 Deviations from Plutarch

4 Date and text 5 Analysis and criticism

5.1 Historical background 5.2 Protagonist debate

6 Performance history

6.1 Notable performances

7 Adaptations and cultural references

7.1 Film and television adaptations 7.2 Contemporary political references

8 See also 9 References

9.1 Footnotes 9.2 Secondary sources

10 External links

Characters[edit]

Julius Caesar

Triumvirs after Caesar's death

Octavius
Octavius
Caesar Mark Antony Lepidus

Conspirators against Caesar

Marcus Brutus (Brutus) Cassius Casca Decius Brutus Cinna Metellus Cimber Trebonius Caius Ligarius

Tribunes

Flavius Marullus

Roman Senate
Roman Senate
Senators

Cicero Publius Popilius Lena

Citizens

Calpurnia – Caesar's wife Portia – Brutus' wife Soothsayer – a person supposed to be able to foresee the future Artemidorus – sophist from Knidos Cinna – poet Cobbler Carpenter Poet
Poet
(believed to be based on Marcus Favonios)[1] Lucius
Lucius
– Brutus' attendant

Loyal to Brutus and Cassius

Volumnius Titinius Young Cato – Portia's brother Messala – messenger Varrus Clitus Claudio Dardanius Strato Gaius Lucilius (non-speaking role) Flavius (non-speaking role) Statilius (non-speaking role) Pindarus
Pindarus
– Cassius' bondman

Other

Caesar's servant Antony's servant Octavius' servant Messenger Other soldiers, senators, plebeians, and attendants

Synopsis[edit]

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare in Styria
Shakespeare in Styria
2014, directed by Nicholas Allen
Nicholas Allen
and Roberta Brown

The play opens with two tribunes discovering the commoners of Rome celebrating Julius Caesar's triumphant return from defeating the sons of his military rival, Pompey. The tribunes, insulting the crowd for their change in loyalty from Pompey
Pompey
to Caesar, attempt to end the festivities and break up the commoners, who return the insults. During the feast of Lupercal, Caesar
Caesar
holds a victory parade and a soothsayer warns him to "Beware the ides of March", which he ignores. Meanwhile, Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. Although Brutus, friendly towards Caesar, is hesitant to kill him, he agrees that Caesar
Caesar
may be abusing his power. They then hear from Casca that Mark Antony
Mark Antony
has offered Caesar
Caesar
the crown of Rome three times and that each time Caesar
Caesar
refused it with increasing reluctance. On the eve of the ides of March, the conspirators meet and reveal that they have forged letters of support from the Roman people to tempt Brutus into joining. Brutus reads the letters and, after much moral debate, decides to join the conspiracy, thinking that Caesar
Caesar
should be killed to prevent him from doing anything against the people of Rome if he were ever to be crowned. After ignoring the soothsayer, as well as his wife Calpurnia's own premonitions, Caesar
Caesar
goes to the Senate. The conspirators approach him with a fake petition pleading on behalf of Metellus Cimber's banished brother. As Caesar
Caesar
predictably rejects the petition, Casca and the others suddenly stab him; Brutus is last. At this point, Caesar
Caesar
utters the famous line "Et tu, Brute?"[2] ("And you, Brutus?", i.e. "You too, Brutus?"), concluding with "Then fall, Caesar!" The conspirators make clear that they committed this murder for the good of Rome, not for their own purposes, and do not attempt to flee the scene. Brutus delivers an oration defending his own actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony
Mark Antony
makes a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar's corpse, beginning with the much-quoted "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!"[3] In this way, he deftly turns public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus's speech, yet there is method in his rhetorical speech and gestures: he reminds them of the good Caesar
Caesar
had done for Rome, his sympathy with the poor, and his refusal of the crown at the Lupercal, thus questioning Brutus's claim of Caesar's ambition; he shows Caesar's bloody, lifeless body to the crowd to have them shed tears and gain sympathy for their fallen hero; and he reads Caesar's will, in which every Roman citizen would receive 75 drachmas. Antony, even as he states his intentions against it, rouses the mob to drive the conspirators from Rome. Amid the violence, an innocent poet, Cinna, is confused with the conspirator Lucius
Lucius
Cinna and is taken by the mob, which kills him for such "offenses" as his bad verses. Brutus next attacks Cassius for supposedly soiling the noble act of regicide by having accepted bribes. ("Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake? / What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, / And not for justice?"[4]) The two are reconciled, especially after Brutus reveals that his beloved wife committed suicide under the stress of his absence from Rome; they prepare for a civil war against Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son, Octavius, who have formed a triumvirate in Rome with Lepidus. That night, Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus with a warning of defeat. (He informs Brutus, "Thou shalt see me at Philippi."[5])

Antony (George Coulouris) kneels over the body of Brutus (Orson Welles) at the conclusion of the Mercury Theatre
Mercury Theatre
production of Caesar (1937–38)

At the battle, Cassius and Brutus, knowing that they will probably both die, smile their last smiles to each other and hold hands. During the battle, Cassius has his servant kill him after hearing of the capture of his best friend, Titinius. After Titinius, who was not really captured, sees Cassius's corpse, he commits suicide. However, Brutus wins that stage of the battle, but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide by running on his own sword, held for him by a loyal soldier. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained "the noblest Roman of them all"[6] 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
Mark Antony
and Octavius
Octavius
which characterises another of Shakespeare's Roman plays, Antony and Cleopatra. Sources[edit] The main source of the play is Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives.[7][8] Deviations from Plutarch[edit]

Shakespeare
Shakespeare
makes Caesar's triumph take place on the day of Lupercalia (15 February) instead of six months earlier. For dramatic effect, he makes the Capitol the venue of Caesar's death rather than the Curia Pompeia (Curia of Pompey). Caesar's murder, the funeral, Antony's oration, the reading of the will and the arrival of Octavius
Octavius
all take place on the same day in the play. However, historically, the assassination took place on 15 March (The Ides of March), the will was published on 18 March, the funeral was on 20 March, and Octavius
Octavius
arrived only in May. Shakespeare
Shakespeare
makes the Triumvirs meet in Rome instead of near Bononia to avoid an additional locale. He combines the two Battles of Philippi although there was a 20-day interval between them. Shakespeare
Shakespeare
gives Caesar's last words as " Et tu, Brute?
Et tu, Brute?
("And you, Brutus?"). Plutarch
Plutarch
and Suetonius
Suetonius
each report that he said nothing, with Plutarch
Plutarch
adding that he pulled his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators,[9] though Suetonius
Suetonius
does record other reports that Caesar
Caesar
said in Greek "καὶ σὺ, τέκνον;" (Kai su, teknon?, "And you, child?")[10][11] The Latin words Et tu, Brute?, however, were not devised by Shakespeare
Shakespeare
for this play since they are attributed to Caesar
Caesar
in earlier Elizabethan works and had become conventional by 1599.

Shakespeare
Shakespeare
deviated from these historical facts to curtail time and compress the facts so that the play could be staged more easily. The tragic force is condensed into a few scenes for heightened effect. Date and text[edit]

The first page of Julius Caesar, printed in the Second Folio
Second Folio
of 1632

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was originally published in the First Folio
First Folio
of 1623, but a performance was mentioned by Thomas Platter the Younger in his diary in September 1599. The play is not mentioned in the list of Shakespeare's plays
Shakespeare's plays
published by Francis Meres in 1598. Based on these two points, as well as a number of contemporary allusions, and the belief that the play is similar to Hamlet
Hamlet
in vocabulary, and to Henry V and As You Like It
As You Like It
in metre,[12] scholars have suggested 1599 as a probable date.[13] The text of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in the First Folio
First Folio
is the only authoritative text for the play. The Folio text is notable for its quality and consistency; scholars judge it to have been set into type from a theatrical prompt-book.[14] The play contains many anachronistic elements from the Elizabethan era. The characters mention objects such as hats and doublets (large, heavy jackets) – neither of which existed in ancient Rome. Caesar
Caesar
is mentioned to be wearing an Elizabethan doublet instead of a Roman toga. At one point a clock is heard to strike and Brutus notes it with "Count the clock". Analysis and criticism[edit] Historical background[edit] Maria Wyke has written that the play reflects the general anxiety of Elizabethan England over succession of leadership. At the time of its creation and first performance, Queen Elizabeth, a strong ruler, was elderly and had refused to name a successor, leading to worries that a civil war similar to that of Rome might break out after her death.[15] Protagonist debate[edit]

A late 19th-century painting of Act IV, Scene iii: Brutus sees Caesar's ghost.

Critics of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
differ greatly on their views of Caesar
Caesar
and Brutus. Many have debated whether Caesar
Caesar
or Brutus is the protagonist of the play, because of the title character's death in Act Three, Scene One. But Caesar
Caesar
compares himself to the Northern Star, and perhaps it would be foolish not to consider him as the axial character of the play, around whom the entire story turns. Intertwined in this debate is a smattering of philosophical and psychological ideologies on republicanism and monarchism. One author, Robert C. Reynolds, devotes attention to the names or epithets given to both Brutus and Caesar
Caesar
in his essay "Ironic Epithet in Julius Caesar". This author points out that Casca praises Brutus at face value, but then inadvertently compares him to a disreputable joke of a man by calling him an alchemist, "Oh, he sits high in all the people's hearts,/And that which would appear offence in us/ His countenance, like richest alchemy,/ Will change to virtue and to worthiness" (I.iii.158-60). Reynolds also talks about Caesar
Caesar
and his "Colossus" epithet, which he points out has its obvious connotations of power and manliness, but also lesser known connotations of an outward glorious front and inward chaos.[16] Myron Taylor, in his essay "Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and the Irony of History", compares the logic and philosophies of Caesar
Caesar
and Brutus. Caesar
Caesar
is deemed an intuitive philosopher who is always right when he goes with his instinct, for instance when he says he fears Cassius as a threat to him before he is killed, his intuition is correct. Brutus is portrayed as a man similar to Caesar, but whose passions lead him to the wrong reasoning, which he realises in the end when he says in V.v.50–51, "Caesar, now be still:/ I kill'd not thee with half so good a will".[17] Joseph W. Houppert acknowledges that some critics have tried to cast Caesar
Caesar
as the protagonist, but that ultimately Brutus is the driving force in the play and is therefore the tragic hero. Brutus attempts to put the republic over his personal relationship with Caesar
Caesar
and kills him. Brutus makes the political mistakes that bring down the republic that his ancestors created. He acts on his passions, does not gather enough evidence to make reasonable decisions and is manipulated by Cassius and the other conspirators.[18] Traditional readings of the play may maintain that Cassius and the other conspirators are motivated largely by envy and ambition, whereas Brutus is motivated by the demands of honour and patriotism. Certainly, this is the view that Antony expresses in the final scene. But one of the central strengths of the play is that it resists categorising its characters as either simple heroes or villains. The political journalist and classicist Garry Wills
Garry Wills
maintains that "This play is distinctive because it has no villains".[19]

It is a drama famous for the difficulty of deciding which role to emphasise. The characters rotate around each other like the plates of a Calder mobile. Touch one and it affects the position of all the others. Raise one, another sinks. But they keep coming back into a precarious balance.[20]

Wills' contemporary interpretation leans more toward recognition of the conscious, sub-conscious nature of human actions and interactions. In this, the role of Cassius becomes paramount. Performance history[edit] The play was likely one of Shakespeare's first to be performed at the Globe Theatre.[21] Thomas Platter the Younger, a Swiss traveller, saw a tragedy about Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
at a Bankside
Bankside
theatre on 21 September 1599, and this was most likely Shakespeare's play, as there is no obvious alternative candidate. (While the story of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was dramatised repeatedly in the Elizabethan/Jacobean period, none of the other plays known are as good a match with Platter's description as Shakespeare's play.)[22] After the theatres re-opened at the start of the Restoration era, the play was revived by Thomas Killigrew's King's Company in 1672. Charles Hart initially played Brutus, as did Thomas Betterton
Thomas Betterton
in later productions. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was one of the very few Shakespearean plays that was not adapted during the Restoration period or the eighteenth century.[23] Notable performances[edit]

John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
(left), Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
and Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.
Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.
in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in 1864.

1864: Junius, Jr., Edwin and John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
(later the assassin of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln) made the only appearance onstage together in a benefit performance of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
on 25 November 1864, at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. Junius, Jr. played Cassius, Edwin played Brutus and John Wilkes played Mark Antony. This landmark production raised funds to erect a statue of Shakespeare
Shakespeare
in Central Park, which remains to this day. May 29, 1916: A one-night performance in the natural bowl of Beachwood Canyon, Hollywood drew an audience of 40,000 and starred Tyrone Power, Sr. and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. The student bodies of Hollywood and Fairfax High Schools played opposing armies, and the elaborate battle scenes were performed on a huge stage as well as the surrounding hillsides. The play commemorated the tercentenary of Shakespeare's death. A photograph of the elaborate stage and viewing stands can be seen on the Library of Congress website. The performance was lauded by L. Frank Baum.[24] 1926: Another elaborate performance of the play was staged as a benefit for the Actors Fund of America at the Hollywood Bowl. Caesar arrived for the Lupercal
Lupercal
in a chariot drawn by four white horses. The stage was the size of a city block and dominated by a central tower eighty feet in height. The event was mainly aimed at creating work for unemployed actors. Three hundred gladiators appeared in an arena scene not featured in Shakespeare's play; a similar number of girls danced as Caesar's captives; a total of three thousand soldiers took part in the battle sequences.

Orson Welles
Orson Welles
as Brutus in the Mercury Theatre's Caesar
Caesar
(1937–38)

1937: Caesar, Orson Welles's famous Mercury Theatre
Mercury Theatre
production, drew fevered comment as the director dressed his protagonists in uniforms reminiscent of those common at the time in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, drawing a specific analogy between Caesar
Caesar
and Fascist Italian leader Benito Mussolini. Time magazine gave the production a rave review,[25] together with the New York critics.[26]:313–319 The fulcrum of the show was the slaughter of Cinna the Poet
Poet
(Norman Lloyd), a scene that literally stopped the show.[27] Caesar
Caesar
opened at the Mercury Theatre
Mercury Theatre
in New York City in November 1937[28]:339 and moved to the larger National Theater in January 1938,[28]:341 running a total of 157 performances.[29] A second company made a five-month national tour with Caesar
Caesar
in 1938, again to critical acclaim.[30]:357 1950: John Gielgud
John Gielgud
played Cassius at the Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Memorial Theatre under the direction of Michael Langham and Anthony Quayle. The production was considered one of the highlights of a remarkable Stratford season and led to Gielgud (who had done little film work to that time) playing Cassius in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film version. 1977: Gielgud made his final appearance in a Shakespearean role on stage as Caesar
Caesar
in John Schlesinger's production at the Royal National Theatre. The cast also included Ian Charleson
Ian Charleson
as Octavius. 1994: Arvind Gaur
Arvind Gaur
directed the play in India
India
with Jaimini Kumar as Brutus and Deepak Ochani as Caesar
Caesar
(24 shows); later on he revived it with Manu Rishi as Caesar
Caesar
and Vishnu Prasad as Brutus for the Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Drama Festival, Assam
Assam
in 1998. Arvind Kumar translated Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
into Hindi. This production was also performed at the Prithvi international theatre festival, at the India
India
Habitat Centre, New Delhi. 2005: Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
played Brutus in the first Broadway production of the play in over fifty years. The production received universally negative reviews but was a sell-out because of Washington's popularity at the box office.[31] 2012: The Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
staged an all-black production under the direction of Gregory Doran. 2012: An all-female production starring Harriet Walter
Harriet Walter
as Brutus and Frances Barber as Caesar
Caesar
was staged at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. In October 2013, the production transferred to New York's St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. 2018: The Bridge Theatre stages Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
as one of its first productions, under the direction of Nicholas Hytner, with Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, and David Morrissey
David Morrissey
as leads. This mirrors the play's status as one of the first productions at the Globe Theatre
Globe Theatre
in 1599.

Adaptations and cultural references[edit]

1963 production of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
at The Doon School, India.

One of the earliest cultural references to the play came in Shakespeare's own Hamlet. Prince Hamlet
Hamlet
asks Polonius
Polonius
about his career as a thespian at university, Polonius
Polonius
replies "I did enact Julius Caesar. I was killed i' th' Capitol. Brutus killed me." This is a likely meta-reference, as Richard Burbage
Richard Burbage
is generally accepted to have played leading men Brutus and Hamlet, and the older John Heminges to have played Caesar
Caesar
and Polonius. In 1851, the German composer Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
wrote a concert overture Julius Caesar, inspired by Shakespeare's play. Other musical settings include those by Giovanni Bononcini, Hans von Bülow, Felix Draeseke, Josef Bohuslav Foerster, John Ireland, John Foulds, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Manfred Gurlitt, Darius Milhaud, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.[32] The Canadian comedy duo Wayne and Shuster
Wayne and Shuster
parodied Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in their 1958 sketch Rinse the Blood off My Toga. Flavius Maximus, Private Roman Eye, is hired by Brutus to investigate the death of Caesar. The police procedural combines Shakespeare, Dragnet, and vaudeville jokes and was first broadcast on The Ed Sullivan Show.[33] In 1984, the Riverside Shakespeare Company
Riverside Shakespeare Company
of New York City produced a modern dress Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
set in contemporary Washington, called simply CAESAR!, starring Harold Scott as Brutus, Herman Petras as Caesar, Marya Lowry as Portia, Robert Walsh as Antony, and Michael Cook as Cassius, directed by W. Stuart McDowell at The Shakespeare Center.[34] In 2006, Chris Taylor from the Australian comedy team The Chaser
The Chaser
wrote a comedy musical called Dead Caesar
Caesar
which was shown at the Sydney Theatre Company in Sydney. The line "The Evil That Men Do", from the speech made by Mark Antony following Caesar's death ("The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.") has had many references in media, including the titles of ...

An Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
song A politically oriented film directed by J. Lee Thompson in 1984 A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel.

The 2008 movie Me and Orson Welles, based on a book of the same name by Robert Kaplow, is a fictional story centred around Orson Welles' famous 1937 production of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
at the Mercury Theatre. British actor Christian McKay
Christian McKay
is cast as Welles, and co-stars with Zac Efron and Claire Danes. The 2012 Italian drama film Caesar
Caesar
Must Die (Italian: Cesare deve morire), directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, follows convicts in their rehearsals ahead of a prison performance of Julius Caesar. In the Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
book Fahrenheit 451, some of the character Beatty's last words are "There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, for I am armed so strong in honesty that they pass me as an idle wind, which I respect not!" The play's line "the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves", spoken by Cassius in Act I, scene 2, is often referenced in popular culture. The line gave its name to the J.M. Barrie
J.M. Barrie
play Dear Brutus, and also gave its name to the best selling young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green and its film adaptation. The same line was quoted in Edward R. Murrow's epilogue of his famous 1954 See It Now documentary broadcast concerning Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. This speech and the line were recreated in the 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck. It was also quoted by George Clooney's character in the Coen brothers
Coen brothers
film Intolerable Cruelty. The line "And therefore think him as a serpent's egg / Which hatch'd, would, as his kind grow mischievous; And kill him in the shell." spoken by Brutus in Act II, Scene 1, is referenced in the Dead Kennedys song, "California Über Alles". The Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
novel Taken At The Flood is entitled There is a Tide in its American Edition. Both the UK and the US titles refer to an iconic line of Brutus: "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune” (Act-IV, Scene-III). Film and television adaptations[edit] See also: Shakespeare on screen and List of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
screen adaptations Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
has been adapted to a number of film productions, including:

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(Vitagraph Company of America, 1908), produced by J. Stuart Blackton and directed by William V. Ranous, who also played Anthony.[35] Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(Avon Productions, 1949), directed by David Bradley, who played Brutus; Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
played Antony and Harold Tasker played Caesar.[36] Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(MGM, 1953), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
and produced by John Houseman; starring James Mason
James Mason
as Brutus, Marlon Brando as Antony and Louis Calhern
Louis Calhern
as Caesar.[36] An Honourable Murder (1960), directed by Godfrey Grayson;[37] depicted the play in a modern business setting.[38] The Spread of the Eagle, a 1963 BBC
BBC
series comprising Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony & Cleopatra. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(Commonwealth United, 1969), directed by Stuart Burge, produced by Peter Snell, starring Jason Robards
Jason Robards
as Brutus, Charlton Heston as Antony and John Gielgud
John Gielgud
as Caesar.[36] Heil Caesar
Caesar
(BBC, 1973), a three-part television play written by John Griffith Bowen that was "a modern-dress modern-dialogue rewrite of the play, updated to an unnamed present-day regime that's about to switch from democracy to dictatorship unless Brutus and his conspirators act to prevent it." It was intended as an introduction to Shakespeare's play for schoolchildren, but it proved good enough to be shown on adult television, and a stage version was later produced.[39] The British Universities Film & Video Council database states that the work "transforms the play into a modern political conspiracy thriller with modern dialogue and many strong allusions to political events in the early 1970."[40] Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(BBC/Time-Life TV, 1978), a television adaptation directed by Herbert Wise and produced by Cedric Messina, starring Richard Pasco as Brutus, Keith Michell
Keith Michell
as Antony and Charles Gray as Caesar.[36] Zulfiqar (2016), a Bengali-language Indian film by Srijit Mukherji that is an adaption of both Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra
and a tribute to the film The Godfather.[41]

Contemporary political references[edit] Modern adaptions of the play have often made contemporary political references,[42] with Caesar
Caesar
depicted as resembling a variety of political leaders, including Huey Long, Margaret Thatcher, and Tony Blair.[43] Professor A. J. Hartley, the Robinson Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, states that this is fairly "common trope" of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
performances: "Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the rule has been to create a recognisable political world within the production. And often people in the title role itself look like or feel like somebody either in recent or current politics."[43] A 2012 production of Julius Caesar by the Guthrie Theatre
Guthrie Theatre
and The Acting Company
The Acting Company
"presented Caesar
Caesar
in the guise of a black actor who was meant to suggest President Obama."[42] This production was not particularly controversial.[42] In 2017, however, a modern adaptation of the play at New York's Shakespeare
Shakespeare
in the Park (performed by The Public Theater) depicted Caesar
Caesar
with the likeness of President Donald Trump
Donald Trump
and thereby aroused ferocious controversy, drawing criticism by right-wing media such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart
Breitbart
and prompting corporate sponsors Bank of America and Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines
to pull their financial support.[42][44][45][46] The Public Theater
The Public Theater
stated that the message of the play is not pro-assassination and that the point is that "those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save." Shakespeare scholars Stephen Greenblatt[47] and Peter Holland agreed with this statement.[43] Pallotta stated that "I have never read anyone suggesting that 'Julius Caesar' is a play that recommends assassination. Look what happens: Caesar
Caesar
is assassinated to stop him becoming a dictator. Result: civil war, massive slaughter, creation of an emperor, execution of many who sympathized with the conspiracy. Doesn't look much like a successful result for the conspirators to me."[43] The play was interrupted several times by right-wing protesters, who accused the play of "violence against the right", and actors and members of theatres with Shakespeare
Shakespeare
in the name has been harassed and received death threats, including the wife of the play's director Oskar Eustis.[48][49][50][51] The protests were praised by American Family Association
American Family Association
director Sandy Rios who compared the play with the execution of Christians by damnatio ad bestias.[52] See also[edit]

1599 in literature Assassinations in fiction Caesar's Comet Mark Antony's Funeral Speech "The dogs of war"

References[edit] Footnotes[edit]

^ Named in Parallel Lives
Parallel Lives
and quoted in Spevack, Marvin (2004). Julius Caesar. New Cambridge Shakespeare
Shakespeare
(2 ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-521-53513-7.  ^ Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1, Line 77. ^ Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2, Line 73. ^ Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3, Lines 19–21. ^ Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3, Line 283. ^ Julius Caesar, Act 5, Scene 5, Line 68. ^ Shakespeare, William (1999). Arthur Humphreys, ed. Julius Caesar. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-19-283606-4.  ^ Pages from Plutarch, Shakespeare's Source for Julius Caesar. ^ Plutarch, Caesar
Caesar
66.9 ^ Suetonius, Julius 82.2). ^ Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, translated by Robert Graves, Penguin Classic, p.39, 1957. ^ Wells and Dobson (2001, 229). ^ Spevack (1988, 6), Dorsch (1955, vii–viii), Boyce (2000, 328), Wells, Dobson (2001, 229) ^ Wells and Dobson, ibid. ^ Wyke, Maria (2006). Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in western culture. Oxford, England: Blackwell. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4051-2599-4.  ^ Reynolds 329–333 ^ Taylor 301–308 ^ Houppert 3–9 ^ Wills, Garry (2011), Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; New Haven
New Haven
and London: Yale University Press, p. 118. ^ Wills, Op. cit., pg 117. ^ Evans, G. Blakemore (1974). The Riverside Shakespeare. Houghton Mifflin Co. p. 1100. ^ Richard Edes's Latin play Caesar
Caesar
Interfectus (1582?) would not qualify. The Admiral's Men had an anonymous Caesar
Caesar
and Pompey
Pompey
in their repertory in 1594–5, and another play, Caesar's Fall, or the Two Shapes, written by Thomas Dekker, Michael Drayton, Thomas Middleton, Anthony Munday, and John Webster, in 1601-2, too late for Platter's reference. Neither play has survived. The anonymous Caesar's Revenge dates to 1606, while George Chapman's Caesar
Caesar
and Pompey
Pompey
dates from ca. 1613. E. K. Chambers, Elizabethan Stage, Vol. 2, p. 179; Vol. 3, pp. 259, 309; Vol. 4, p. 4. ^ Halliday, p. 261. ^ L. Frank Baum. "Julius Caesar: An Appreciation of the Hollywood Production." Mercury Magazine, June 15, 1916. http://www.hungrytigerpress.com/tigertreats/juliuscaesar.shtml ^ "Theatre: New Plays in Manhattan: Nov. 22, 1937". TIME. 22 November 1937. Retrieved 13 March 2010.  ^ Houseman, John (1972). Run-Through: A Memoir. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-21034-3.  ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (2014). "Orson Welles' World, and We're Just Living in It: A Conversation with Norman Lloyd". EatDrinkFilms.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05.  ^ a b Welles, Orson; Bogdanovich, Peter; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1992). This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins
HarperCollins
Publishers. ISBN 0-06-016616-9.  ^ "News of the Stage; 'Julius Caesar' Closes Tonight". The New York Times. May 28, 1938. Retrieved 2015-11-05.  ^ Callow, Simon (1996). Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu. New York: Viking. ISBN 9780670867226.  ^ "A Big-Name Brutus in a Caldron of Chaosa". The New York Times. 4 April 2005. Retrieved 7 November 2010.  ^ Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th edition, ed. Eric Blom, Vol. VII, p. 733 ^ "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga". Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project at the University of Guelph. Retrieved 13 March 2010.  ^ Herbert Mitgang of The New York Times, 14 March 1984, wrote: "The famous Mercury Theater production of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in modern dress staged by Orson Welles
Orson Welles
in 1937 was designed to make audiences think of Mussolini's Blackshirts
Blackshirts
– and it did. The Riverside Shakespeare Company's lively production makes you think of timeless ambition and antilibertarians anywhere." ^ Maria Wyke, Caesar
Caesar
in the USA (University of California Press, 2012), p. 60. ^ a b c d Shakespeare
Shakespeare
and the Moving Image: The Plays on Film and Television (eds. Anthony Davies & Stanley Wells: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 29-31. ^ Darryll Grantley, Historical Dictionary of British Theatre: Early Period (Scarecrow Press, 2013), p. 228. ^ Stephen Chibnall & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film (Palgrave Macmillan/British Film Institute, 2009), p. 252. ^ Michael Brooke. " Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
On Screen". Screenonline. British Film Institute.  ^ Heil Caesar, Part 1: The Conspirators, Learning on Screen, British Universities Film & Video Council. ^ Anindita Acharya, My film Zulfiqar is a tribute to The Godfather, says Srijit Mukherji, Hindustan Times (September 20, 2016). ^ a b c d Peter Marks, When 'Julius Caesar' was given a Trumpian makeover, people lost it. But is it any good, Washington Post (June 16, 2017). ^ a b c d Frank Pallotta, Trump-like 'Julius Caesar' isn't the first time the play has killed a contemporary politician, CNN (June 12, 2017). ^ "Delta and Bank of America
Bank of America
boycott 'Julius Caesar' play starring Trump-like character". The Guardian. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.  ^ Alexander, Harriet (12 June 2017). "Central Park play depicting Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
as Donald Trump
Donald Trump
causes theatre sponsors to withdraw". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2017.  ^ "Delta, BofA Drop Support For 'Julius Caesar' That Looks Too Much Like Trump". NPR. June 12, 2017.  ^ Beckett, Lois (12 June 2017). "Trump as Julius Caesar: anger over play misses Shakespeare's point, says scholar". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2017.  ^ Al-Sibai, Noor (17 June 2017). "Shakespearean actors across the US are receiving death threats over New York's Trump-as- Caesar
Caesar
play". The Raw Story. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ "'Trump death' in Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
prompts threats to wrong theatres". CNN. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ Wahlquist, Calla (17 June 2017). "'This is violence against Donald Trump': rightwingers interrupt Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
play". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ Link, Taylor (22 June 2017). "Cops investigate death threats made against "Caesar" director's wife". Salon. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ Mantyla, Kyle (June 20, 2017). " Sandy Rios Sees No Difference Between Shakespeare
Shakespeare
And Feeding Christians To The Lions". Right Wing Watch. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 

Secondary sources[edit]

Boyce, Charles. 1990. Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare, New York, Roundtable Press. Chambers, Edmund Kerchever. 1923. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 volumes, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-811511-3. Halliday, F. E. 1964. A Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Companion 1564–1964. Shakespeare Library ser. Baltimore, Penguin, 1969. ISBN 0-14-053011-8. Houppert, Joseph W. "Fatal Logic in 'Julius Caesar'". South Atlantic Bulletin. Vol. 39, No.4. Nov. 1974. 3–9. Kahn, Coppelia. "Passions of some difference": Friendship
Friendship
and Emulation in Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar: New Critical Essays. Horst Zander, ed. New York: Routledge, 2005. 271–283. Parker, Barbara L. "The Whore of Babylon and Shakespeares's Julius Caesar." Studies in English Literature (Rice); Spring95, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p. 251, 19p. Reynolds, Robert C. "Ironic Epithet in Julius Caesar". Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 24. No.3. 1973. 329–333. Taylor, Myron. "Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and the Irony of History". Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Quarterly. Vol. 24, No. 3. 1973. 301–308. Wells, Stanley and Michael Dobson, eds. 2001. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Oxford University Press

External links[edit]

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v t e

William Shakespeare

Plays

Tragedies

Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus Troilus and Cressida

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Shakespeare's Globe
(replica) Bardolatry Titles of works taken from Shakespeare

Family

Anne Hathaway (wife) Susanna Hall
Susanna Hall
(daughter) Hamnet Shakespeare
Hamnet Shakespeare
(son) Judith Quiney
Judith Quiney
(daughter) Elizabeth Barnard
Elizabeth Barnard
(granddaughter) John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare
(father) Mary Arden (mother) Gilbert Shakespeare
Gilbert Shakespeare
(brother) Joan Shakespeare (sister) Edmund Shakespeare (brother) Richard Shakespeare (grandfather) John Hall (son-in-law) Thomas Quiney
Thomas Quiney
(son-in-law) Thomas Nash
Thomas Nash
(grandson-in-law)

* Shakespeare
Shakespeare
and other authors Lost

v t e

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Characters

Julius Caesar Mark Antony Octavius Lepidus Flavius Marullus Cicero Calpurnia Portia Cinna Titinius Messala Young Cato Volumnius

Conspirators

Marcus Brutus Cassius Casca Decius Brutus Cinna Metellus Cimber Trebonius Caius Ligarius

Sources

Parallel Lives

On screen

1950 1953 The Spread of the Eagle
The Spread of the Eagle
(1963; TV) 1970 1979 (TV) 1994 (TV)

Adaptations

La morte di Cesare
La morte di Cesare
(1788) Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Writing "Julius Caesar" (1907) Caesar
Caesar
(1937) Die Ermordung Cäsars
Die Ermordung Cäsars
(1959) Dead Caesar
Caesar
(2007) The Karaoke King
The Karaoke King
(2007) Roman Tragedies
Roman Tragedies
(2007)

Quotes

"The dogs of war" "Et tu, Brute?" "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" "Greek to me"

Music

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(overture, 1851)

Related

Cultural depictions of Julius Caesar Assassination of Julius Caesar Caesar's Comet Ides of March Battle of Philippi Me and Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(2008) Caesar
Caesar
Must Die (2012)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 183882219 LCCN: n82021338 GND: 4099351-6 SUDOC: 086166328 BNF: cb1193

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