Lake Superior Theatre - 270 N Lakeshore Blvd. Marquette, MI 49855

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Julius Caesar

Aug 23-25 Tues – Thurs
Julius Caesar
Westwood Shakespeare:Jeff Spencer

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

The play opens with the commoners of Rome celebrating Caesar’s triumphant return from defeating Pompey‘s sons at the battle of Munda. Two tribunes, Flavius and Marrullus, discover the commoners celebrating, insult them for their change in loyalty from Pompey to Caesar, and break up the crowd. They also plan on removing all decorations from Caesar’s statues and ending any other festivities. In the next scene, during Caesar’s parade on the feast of Lupercal, a soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the ides of March”, a warning he disregards. The action then turns to the discussion between Brutus and Cassius. In this conversation, Cassius attempts to influence Brutus’ opinions into believing Caesar should be killed, preparing to have Brutus join his conspiracy to kill Caesar
Caesar’s assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play, occurring in Act 3, scene 1 (the other is Mark Antony’s funeral oration “Friends, Romans, countrymen.”) After ignoring the soothsayer, as well as his wife’s own premonitions, Caesar comes to the Senate.  The conspirators make clear that they committed this act for Rome, not for their own purposes and do not attempt to flee the scene. After Caesar’s death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony, with a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar’s corpse—beginning with the much-quoted Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears—deftly turns public opinion against the assassins.

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