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Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar

Et tu, Brutè?—Then fall, Caesar.
Act 3, scene 1, line 85

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.

Act 3, scene 2, lines 82-85

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

Act 4, scene 3, lines 249-250

Shakespeare may have written Julius Caesar as the first of his plays to be performed at the Globe, in 1599. For it, he turned to a key event in Roman history: Caesar’s death at the hands of friends and fellow politicians. Renaissance writers disagreed over the assassination, seeing Brutus, a leading conspirator, as either hero or villain. Shakespeare's play keeps this debate alive.

Julius Caesar was printed in the 1623 First Folio. Sources include North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives.

Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 1992 Folger Shakespeare Library.


Further reading

Warren Chernaik. The Myth of Rome in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Janette Dillon. The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Tragedies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Coppelia Kahn. Roman Shakespeare: Warriors, Wounds, and Women. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Corin Redgrave. Julius Caesar. Actors on Shakespeare series. London: Faber and Faber, 2002.

John Ripley. Julius Caesar on Stage in England and America, 1599-1973. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Garry Wills. Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. New Haven, Conn. Yale University Press, 2011.

Julius Caesar

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Folios from the Collection: Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar

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