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Shakespeare at Winedale

Julius Caesar Synopsis

Julius Caear Graphic
The play opens as all of Rome empties into the streets to celebrate and welcome a triumphant Julius Caesar returning from war. Caesar, who is worshiped by the masses, is cautioned by a soothsayer to “beware the ides of March.” Caesar brushes off the diviner’s warnings and proceeds to greet his adoring public.

Meanwhile, Cassius begins persuading Marcus Brutus that Caesar intends to become ruler of their free Rome. The men hear shouting and discover that Mark Antony has offered Caesar a crown. Cassius decides to send anonymous letters to Brutus to trick him into thinking that the people fear Caesar’s ascent to power.

Later that night, a group of conspirators gather at Brutus’ house and plot to murder Caesar. They contemplate assassinating Mark Antony as well, but Brutus persuades them to let Antony live. Portia, Brutus’ wife, wakes up and begs him to share his troubles with her.

After a series of dark and portentous omens, the ides of March arrives. Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, who has had nightmares foreseeing her husband’s death, begs Caesar to stay home. The conspirators arrive, however, and persuade Caesar to go. After arriving at the Senate, Caesar is stabbed to death by the conspirators.

After Caesar’s death, Brutus speaks to the people and convinces them that the conspirators acted on their behalf, to protect them from tyranny and to preserve their freedom. After his speech however, Mark Antony sways the crowd with emotional rhetoric, inciting a mob and sparking a civil war. Brutus and Cassius flee the city.

Mark Antony forms an alliance with Lepidus and Octavius who agree to transform Republican Rome into a triumvirate if they win the war. Cassius and Brutus are reunited, and agree to commit suicide if they lose in battle. The dogs of war are unleashed; the fate of Rome hangs in the balance.