Because…stirring speeches, backstabbing, psychological realism, bloody murder. It’s all there.
Events: Julius Caesar returns from a war being all, “I am a GOD! Cower, brief mortals!” Some of the upstanding citizens of Rome, led by Cassius, begin to get a bit nervous about this and plot to kill him. Cassius convinces Brutus, friend of Caesar, to join the conspiracy for the good of Rome. They stab him in the Senate on the Ides of March; at the funeral Mark Antony stirs up the people of Rome to rebellion, and many of the conspirators are killed. Rome plunges into civil war; after some fighting Cassius and Brutus commit suicide. Mark Antony becomes Emperor, and the curtain falls.
First line: “Hence, home, you idle creatures, get you home!”
High point: Caesar’s funeral speech: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!”
Interesting fact: Shakespeare altered his sources so that Brutus was a sympathetic character, not an evil one, and Caesar a baddie.
Joke: “He spoke Greek.” “To what effect?” “…for mine own part, it was Greek to me.”
Killed: Julius Caesar, Cinna the poet, Brutus’ wife Portia, Cassius, Cassius’ friend Titinius, Brutus.
Laughed at: Cinna the poet. Briefly.
Number of scenes: 17 spread over five acts.
Quote: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves.”
Role I’d play: Portia, the only female character.
Stolen from Plutarch’s Lives, a collection of biographies of famous figures of antiquity.
Time: Ancient Rome
Voiced in my head by: Ha. Mark Addy would make a great Caesar. (What? I’m on a Thrones streak.)
Would I see it in a theatre? Hell yes.
X: The Tenth Line: “Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.”
“Yes? Hello? What?” (The Snappy Quip): “It is the bright day that brings forth the adder.”
Z: The Last Line: “To part the glories of this happy day.”