The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

The picture above portrays the brutal murder of Julius Caesar by the Conspirators

On the Ides of March (or March 15), 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated, at the foot of a statue of Pompey where the Senate was meeting.

  • pictures-julius-caesar-4.jpgJulius Caesar is a tragedy that was written by William Shakespeare.
  • It was first written between the years 1600-1601, and it was first performed in 1623.

Above is the 1953 theatrical trailer for the film "Julius Caesar".

Summary of the Story

Julius Caesar is a highly successful but ambitious political leader of Rome. His goal is to do what is best for Rome, and gain the respect his fellow Romans. Caesar is warned that he must "beware the Ides of March". Not only does the soothsayer advise caution, but his wife, Calpurnia, too. After the many warnings and signs, which Caesar refuses to believe, the prophecy comes true and Caesar is assassinated. Marcus Brutus is a well respected Roman senator who plan and helps the conspiritors with Caesar's assassination. Unlike his fellow conspirators, Brutus, believes ridding Rome of Caesar, who was a tyrant, would be beneficial to Rome. Caesar's friend Mark Antony provides the famous funeral speech ("Friends, Romans, and countrymen…") and eventually Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat. Brutus, the noble Roman, whose decision to take part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom, plunges his country into civil war.



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Background Information:

Julius Caesar was written most likely in 1599. It was the first Shakespeare play performed in the new Globe theater. Julius Caesar is also one of Skakespeare's earliest tragedies.

Julius Caesar is the one of Shakespeare's earliest tragedies, with only Titus Andronicus (early 1590s) and Romeo and Juliet (mid 1590s) being earlier, and he wrote it mid-way through his career. Following quickly on its heels will be Hamlet, and some scholars see Brutus in Julius Caesar as a prototype or "first draft" of Hamlet.



  1. The number of spoken words in Julius Caesar, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 20,933
  2. The settings for Julius Caesar are Verona and Mantua in Italy
  3. Verona is the city in which Romeo and Juliet took place
  4. William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived
  5. Eighteen unauthorised versions of Shakespeare's plays were published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers
  6. John Hemminges and Henry Condell recorded his work and published 36 of Shakespeare's plays in the First Folio

  • Shakespeare's actual birthday is unknown but April 23rd has been generally used - the same day as St. George's Day, the Patron Saint of England - stranger still his actual date of death is also unknown and this has also been given April 23rd! Fact!
  • William's father, John Shakespeare was the Mayor of Stratford
  • There are rumours that Shakespeare left Stratford-upon-Avon to avoid prosecution for poaching a deer!
  • Shakespeare is rumoured to be the father of an illegitimate son - William Davenant!
  • We do not really know what Shakespeare looked like! Not one portrait was painted of Shakespeare whilst he was still alive!
  • The majority of his plays were only published seven years after his death!
  • Scandalous Facts! Shakespeare's daughter, Judith married a man called Thomas Quiney - but failed to get a special license to marry and, on March 12th 1616, Judith and Thomas Quiney were both excommunicated!
  • More scandalous Shakespeare Family Facts! It transpired that Thomas Quiney had made another girl pregnant and was prosecuted for 'carnal copulation'
  • The only mention that Shakespeare specifically makes of his wife in his Last Will and testament was to leave her his "second best bed"
  • Shakespeare's grandchildren all died - he had no descendents
  • Julius Caesar was not an Emperor. He was given the title 'Dictator perpetuus.'
  • Julius Caesar was the first to print his own bust on a Roman minted coin.
  • The successor of Julius Caesar was his great nephew, Octavian, who took the name Augustus Caesar and was the first Roman Emperor.

History of the drama

Julius Caesar is a dramatization of actual events. He was assassinated in 44 B.C.
It is believed that his mother endured agonising surgery in order to extract him at birth. This belief gave rise to the term "Caesarean birth"
It is also said that the names siezure, as in epileptic seizures, may have come from Casear's name too.