Julius Caesar


The working people of Rome are overjoyed. Julius Caesar has beaten Pompey\'s sons in battle, and everyone\'s getting a day off from work to celebrate Caesar\'s triumphant return. But two Roman officers, Flavius and Marullus. chase the crowds away: how dare the citizens support a tyrant who threatens to undermine hundreds of years of Republican rule. Caesar parades by in full glory. just in time to help celebrate the races on the Feast of Lupercal. A soothsayer bids him "Beware the ides of March". but Caesar anxious not to show fear in public dismisses the man as a dreamer. The procession passes by, leaving behind two Roman Senators. Cassius, a long-time political enemy of Caesar, and Brutus. Like other members of the Senate, Brutus and Cassius are aristocrats who fear that Caesar will take away their ancient privileges.


Caesar, now back from the races, tells his friend Antony that he doesn\'t trust a man like Cassius, with his "lean and hungry look." Casca tells Brutus and Cassius how the Roman people three times offered Caesar the crown, and how three times he refused it. Perhaps Caesar doesn\'t want to be king that\'s what his friends would argue; but to his enemies, Caesar was merely playing on the gullibility of the people, pretending to be humble in order to win their support.


On a stormy night full of mysterious omens, Cassius converts Casca to his cause and arranges for Cinna, a fellow conspirator, to throw a message through Brutus\' window. The note will, he hopes, win the noble Senator to their side.


Alone in his garden, Brutus tries to justify the part he is about to play in the murder of his friend, Caesar. He decides finally that Caesar\'s ambition poses a grave danger to the future of the Republic and that Caesar should be destroyed, not for what he is, but for what he\'s likely to become. The conspirators arrive at Brutus\' house and agree to murder Caesar the next day at the Capitol. They would like to murder Antony, too, but Brutus, anxious to keep his hands clean and to preserve his precious honor, insists that Antony be spared.


After the conspirators leave, Brutus\' wife Portia enters. She wants to know what\'s happening. Brutus worries that the news may be too frightening for her to bear, but nevertheless confides in her.


Caesar has had a restless night, too. His wife Calpurnia tries to keep him home she senses evil in the air and at first he relents. But the conspirators arrive and persuade him to go to the Senate as planned. Calpurnia\'s fears turn out to be more than superstitions, for the day is March 15, the ides of March. Caesar ignores two more warnings and, after delivering a speech full of extravagant self-praise, he is stabbed by the conspirators and dies.


Antony, learning of the murder of his dearest friend, begs the conspirators to let him speak at the funeral. Believing that right is on his side, Brutus agrees, over the objections of his more realistic friends. Left alone, Antony vows to revenge the death of Caesar, even if it means plunging his country into civil war. In the meantime, Caesar\'s adopted son and heir, Octavius, has arrived on the outskirts of Rome, and Antony advises him to wait there till he can gauge the mood of the country. Brutus funeral oration is a measured, well-reasoned speech, appealing to the better instincts of the people and to their abstract sense of duty to the state. For a moment he wins them over. But then Antony inflames the crowds with an appeal to their emotions. Showing them Caesar\'s bloody clothes turns them into an angry mob, hungry for revenge. Blind with hate, they roam the streets and tear apart the innocent poet Cinna.


Antony and Octavius now join forces with Lepidus to pursue and destroy the conspirators, who have fled from Rome. Anyone who might endanger their cause is coldly put to death. Brutus and Cassius await this new triumverate at their camp near Sardis in Asia Minor. Brutus, standing on his principles, says no, and vents his anger on his friend. At the root of his anger, however, is his unspoken sorrow at the death of his beloved wife