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Julius Ceasar Themes and Plot Development



Julius Ceasar Themes and Plot Development

Act I:
The play opens humorously with a little word play between
Flavius, Marullus, and a few workers. The workers are on their
way to see Julius Caesar who has recently returned from his
victorious battle against Pompey. The reader immediately sees
the dislike the tribunes have towards Caesar and on the other
hand, the favor of the commoners.

The scene moves to a large gathering where Caesar is the
focus. As Caesar converses with Mark Antony, we learn that
Caesar is superstitious. The belief in the supernatural and the
forces of nature are very prevalent in the play and Caesar's
comment is but one example. To keep with the idea of the
supernatural, a soothsayer speaks, warning Caesar to beware
the Ides of March. He acts as though he is not concerned.

After the exchange with the soothsayer, Caesar is offered the
crown three times and refuses each time, even though the
people are cheering for him to accept the empororship. At the
same time, Cassius is trying to convince Brutus that Caesar is
too ambitious and should be killed before being allowed to rule
the Roman Empire. Brutus, always seeking to do what is right,
says that he will not betray his honor and loyalty to Rome.

That evening, there are strange and unusual natural
occurrences--the weather is very strange and violent and fire
falls from the sky. Most of the people believe that the weather
is a bad omen, but Cassius disagrees. He uses the unusual
weather to reason that it is only for evil men (such as Caesar)
who need to be afraid. The plotting against Caesar continues.


Act II:
Brutus is convinced by Cassius that it is for the good of Rome
that Caesar be killed. Some of the other conspirators want to
kill other people who are friends of Caesar's, but Brutus feels
that it is not necessary to kill anyone else. Only the person
responsible for the downfall of Rome should perish in the eyes
of Brutus.



Caesar is contemplating on whether he should remain home
during the Ides of March ( which is March 15, the middle of
the month). Calphurinia, Caesar's wife, tells Caesar of the
horrible dream she had about his death and that the strange
occurrences the night before are a prelude to his death. He
agrees to stay until Decius, a conspirator, tells him her dreams
were not of his death, but of him saving Rome. Thus he leaves
for the Senate despite his wife's pleas.


Meanwhile, Artemidorus waits in the streets of Rome for
Caesar to pass so he can give him a note warning...

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