Caesar's assassination is just the halfway point of Julius Caesar. The first part of the play leads to his death; the second portrays the consequences. As the action begins, Rome prepares for Caesar's triumphal entrance. Brutus, Caesar's friend and ally, fears that Caesar will become king, destroying the republic. Cassius and others convince Brutus to join a conspiracy to kill Caesar.
On the day of the assassination, Caesar plans to stay home at the urging of his wife, Calphurnia. A conspirator, Decius Brutus, persuades him to go to the Senate with the other conspirators and his friend, Mark Antony. At the Senate, the conspirators stab Caesar to death. Antony uses a funeral oration to turn the citizens of Rome against them. Brutus and Cassius escape as Antony joins forces with Octavius Caesar.
Encamped with their armies, Brutus and Cassius quarrel, then agree to march on Antony and Octavius. In the battle that follows, Cassius, misled by erroneous reports of loss, persuades a slave to kill him; Brutus's army is defeated. Brutus commits suicide, praised by Antony as "the noblest Roman of them all."
Early printed texts
Julius Caesar was published for the first time in the 1623 First Folio, and that text is the source of all later editions of the play.
Picturing Julius Caesar
As part of an NEH-funded project, the Folger digitized thousands of 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century images representing Shakespeare’s plays. Some of these images show actors in character, while others show the plays as if they were real-life events—telling the difference isn't always easy. A selection of images related to Julius Caesar is shown below, with links to our digital image collection.
More images of Julius Caesar can be seen in our digital image collection. (Because of how they were cataloged, some images from other plays might appear in the image searches linked here, so always check the sidebar to see if the image is described as part of a larger group.)
Teacher & student resources
Created by teachers and curated by the Folger, these teaching modules can help you with Julius Caesar in the classroom: