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Returning home after a magnificent victory, war hero Julius Caesar is greeted by throngs of adoring citizens. A prophet tries to stop him in the street with the ominous warning to “beware the ides of March,” but Caesar brushes him off. Wrapped up in his victory celebration, Caesar also fails to notice his two friends Brutus and Cassius plotting against him. They fear that Caesar has grown too powerful and that he will replace the Roman republic with a dictatorship, giving himself unprecedented power. Brutus and Cassius hatch a conspiracy to stop Caesar’s rise by killing him. They lure him from his house and ambush him, stabbing him to death in a dramatic scene that includes Ceasar’s weighty, immortal question: “Et tu, Brutus?” They justify Caesar’s death to the assembled crowd in the name of public peace, but when Mark Antony reads Caesar’s will, the public realizes that Caesar was not a threat to the republic. Angered and betrayed, the crowd drives Brutus and Cassius from the city, while Mark Antony raises troops to fight them. The night before the climactic battle, Caesar’s ghost appears to haunt Brutus, warning him of the fate he will meet in battle. A fast-paced story of political intrigue, Julius Caesar is a much a play about Roman republican life as it as about the heroic Caesar himself.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
OCTAVIUS CAESAR, Triumvir after his death.
MARCUS ANTONIUS, " " "
M. AEMIL. LEPIDUS " " "
CICERO, PUBLIUS, POPILIUS LENA, Senators.
MARCUS BRUTUS, Conspirator against Caesar.
CASSIUS, " " "
CASCA, " " "
Ratings for 'Julius Caesar' by Shakespeare, William