Monday, 15 March 2010
On this day...
Julius Caesar was famously killed on the Ides of March in 44 B.C on the senate floor. Led by Brutus, a group of conspirators, uneasy with Caesar's supremacy and possible assent to monarchy, devised a plot to kill him. Such powerful political and ancient history is perhaps best captured in the writings of Shakespeare, and his 1599 play, 'Julius Caesar'. However although the title of the play, Caesar himself only appears in three scenes. Thus the majority of the drama is focused instead on the psychologically turmoils of Marcus Brutus, as he struggles to reconcile his patriotic duty for Rome, with his close friendship with Caesar.
Cited as one of the first of Shakespeare's plays to be staged in the Globe Theatre, 'Julius Caesar' is often thought to reflect the contemporary political events of that time, as monarch Queen Elizabeth I declined to name a successor, leading to fears of a civil war. The drama is perhaps most famous for two of its lines; 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears' and, of course, 'Et tu, Brute?'