William Shakespeare – A Short Biography
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is an English playwright and poet, recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Hundreds of editions of his plays have been published, including translations in all major languages. Scholars have written thousands of books and articles about his plots, characters, themes, and language. He is the most noted author in history, and his plays have probably been performed more times widely than those of any other dramatist.
Introduction of the Drama- Julius Caesar
Important Note before You Read- Dear visitors of edumantra.net kindly remember that Julius Caesar is a long play written by William Shakespeare. Actually in this long play main hero Julius Caesar was murdered and his greatest friend Antony took revenge of his death. In class X only the Murder Scene is prescribed including the scene of Antony’s activities of revenge. In the whole big play Pompey’s sons were making a great cruelty over Rome. Julius Caesar defeated and murdered them. The play in your syllabus starts when…….
A short Introduction-
Julius Caesar, an able general and a conqueror returns to Rome amidst immense popularity after defeating the sons of Pompey. The people celebrate his victorious return and Mark Antony, his friend and a respectable Roman offers him the Crown which he refuses. Jealous of Caesar’s growing power and afraid he may one day become a dictator, Cassius, the biggest conspirator starts a conspiracy to murder Caesar. He realises that to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Romans, he must win the confidence of a Nobel, powerful and innocent Roman named Brutus to his side for Brutus is the most trusted and respected in Rome. Brutus, the idealist, joins the conspiracy feeling that everyone is driven by motives as honourable as his own. Ironically, Caesar is murdered at the foot of Pompey’s statue.
Some Important Characters (For class 10)
Julius Caesar: The greatest and most powerful of the Romans. Assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and a band of conspirators who feel Caesar is very ambitious and wants the crown.
Calpurnia : Caesar’s wife
Mark Antony : Caesar’s most loyal friend
Marcus Brutus : Caesar’s great friend who joins the conspiracy because of his great love for Rome and for democracy.
Cassius : Inspirer and organizer of the conspiracy
Decius Brutus : Co-conspirator in Caesar’s assassination
Some other Characters from the whole play
The Supporters of Julius Caesar (Ruler of Rome) –
He has become so popular and powerful that some citizens fear that he will convince the public to make him a king, changing Rome’s government from a republic to a monarchy.
Calpurnia (Caesar’s wife) – She begs her husband not to go to the Senate on the day of his assassination because of a dream she had foretelling the event.
Mark Antony (Senator and loyal friend of Caesar) – He uses reverse psychology to turn the Romans against the conspirators during his famous funeral speech. He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar’s death.
Octavius Caesar (Caesar’s adopted son) – He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar’s death and convinces Mark Antony to begin the war against the conspirators.
Aemilius Lepidus (A general in Caesar’s army and Caesar’s ally) – He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar’s death but holds less power than the other members.
The Conspirators Against Caesar
Marcus Brutus (Caesar’s closest friend) – He joins the conspiracy in killing Caesar because he strongly believes in keeping Rome a government ruled by the people.
Caius Cassius (An ambassador for Caesar and the instigator of the conspiracy against Caesar) –He and Brutus lead the army against the ruling Triumvirate in the civil war following Caesar’s death.
Casca (A Roman Senator) – He is the first to stab Caesar. He does so from behind.
Decius Brutus (A Roman senator) – He is sent to accompany Caesar to the Senate on the day of Caesar’s assassination.
Cinna (A Roman senator) – He assists Cassius’ manipulation of Brutus by planting anonymous letters around Brutus’ house.
Trebonius (A Roman senator) – He supports Brutus’ decision to spare Mark Antony’s life and is the only conspirator who doesn’t stab Caesar. Metellus Cimber (A Roman Senator) – He distracts Caesar so the others can attack him.
Caius Ligarius (A Roman Senator) – At first, he hesitates in joining the conspiracy against Caesar, but joins once he knows Brutus is also convinced.
Family & Followers of the Conspirators Portia (The wife of Marcus Brutus) – She feels Brutus is hiding something from her and pleads with him to confide in her.
Lucius (Brutus’ servant)
Pindarus (A servant to Cassius) – He delivers an inaccurate report to Cassius regarding the death of one of his men.
Strato (A servant and friend to Brutus) – He holds the sword on Brutus’ behalf so that Brutus may run upon it.
Other Romans Cicero (A Roman senator and well known orator)Publius (A Roman senator) – He travels with Caesar to the Senate House the day of the assassination. He also tries to calm the angry crowd.
Popillius Lena (A Roman senator) – He frightens Cassius by wishing him well on his “enterprises” just before Caesar enters the Senate House on the day of Caesar’s assassination.
Soothsayer (A soothsayer is someone who foretells events or predicts the future) – He warns Caesar to “beware the Ides of March.” Artemidorus (A Roman writer and philosopher) – He presents Caesar with a letter warning him about the assassination. Caesar does not heed this warning.
Flavius (A commoner of Rome) – He is skeptical of Caesar’s power.
Carpenter (A commoner of Rome)
Cobbler (A commoner of Rome) – He teases the other commoners with word play.
Cinna the Poet (An artisan of Rome) – He is killed during the crowd’s riot when he is mistaken for the conspirator of the same name.