The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a play about loyalty, betrayal, love, and deception. There are many characters with fairly in-depth personalities. Some of the main characters are Cassius, the crafty, deceptive, witty man who is the leader of the conspiracy that killed Caesar. Brutus, the noble, honest, honorable man who is one of the key members of the conspiracy. There is also Antony, who is Caesar’s right hand man. He is shrewd and ruthless man, willing to do anything to get revenge for Caesar’s death. Act I is centered around introducing the play and some of its characters.
The play opens around a crowd of people waiting for Caesar’s return after his victory over Pompey’s sons. As the parade marches by, a soothsayer bids Caesar to “beware the ides of March. ” Later in Act I, Cassius persuades the frightened Casca to join the conspiracy during a violent storm. They both plan to visit Brutus later with fake petitions to help persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy. Act II opens with Brutus contemplating whether to join the conspiracy or not when Lucius brings Brutus one of Cassius’s petitions.
Cassius and five other conspirators enter. Brutus agrees to become a conspirator, but refuses to take and oath, including Cicero in the conspiracy, and killing Mark Antony. Brutus then leaves with Caius Ligarius for the Capitol. Later in the morning, Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, begs Caesar not to go to the Capitol. He is finally persuaded to go by Decius. Mark Antony and the conspirators enter, and they all leave for the Capitol together. On the way, Artemidorus tries to warn Caesar of his impending death with a letter, which never makes it to Caesar.
Portia sends her servant, Lucius, to the Capitol for news while she speaks with a soothsayer who will try to warn Caesar a second time. In Act III, Caesar, along with the conspirators, makes his way to the Capitol. The soothsayer and Artimedorus both try to warn Caesar to no avail. He is killed at the Capitol, stabbed first by Casca with the words “Speak, hands, for me! ” All the conspirators except Brutus follow Casca’s lead and stab Caesar. Caesar tries to fend off all the blows until he sees Brutus’s raised dagger. Caesar dies after Brutus stabs him with the words, “Et tu, Brute?
Then fall, Caesar! ” Brutus then explains the conspirators reasons for killing Caesar at his funeral. Then Antony, who against Cassius’s will, is allowed to speak at the funeral. He appeals to the crowd’s emotions, and turns them against the conspirators, who flee the city. Act IV starts with a meeting of the triumvirate, which consists of Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar, and Lepidus. They are writing down names of conspirators to die for the murder of Caesar. Meanwhile, in Asia Minor, Brutus and Cassius have recruited an army and have vowed revenge on Antony and Octavius.
Cassius and Brutus get in to a quarrel in which they make many accusations of one another. It ends with the two again being friends, and retiring for the night. As Brutus prepares to sleep, the ghost of Caesar appears to him, telling Brutus that he shall see him again on the battlefield at Philippi. Act V opens with the opposing generals meeting before battle to exchange insults and taunts. Cassius vows to kill himself, rather than be captured. Brutus, being a stoic, does not believe in suicide. Later, on the battlefield, Cassius sends Titinius to find out whose troops he sees.
When Pindarus reports to Cassius that Titinius has been captured, orders Pindarus to kill him. Cassius dies with the words, “Caesar, thou art revenged, even with the sword that killed thee. ” Titinus, who was only pulled from his horse by his own troops in a show of victory, returns to find Cassius dead. Stricken with grief, Titinius kills himself with Cassius’s sword. Antony and Octavius once again gain the upper hand in the fighting, Lucilius dresses up as Brutus and is sent to be captured with the message that Brutus won’t be taken alive.
Brutus and some of his men lean against a rock with sense of defeat. Brutus reveals that the ghost of Caesar has appeared to him again, and that his hour has come. He first asks Volumnius to hold his sword as he runs upon it. Volumnius refuses, but Strato accepts when Brutus asks him. Brutus runs on his sword and dies with the words “Caesar, now be still. I killed not thee with half so good a will. ” Brutus’s body is brought taken by Octavius to be buried like an honorable soldier.