Class 10 Literature Reader

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare


Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman who lived between 100 BC to 44BC. He played an instrumental role in the demise of Roman Republic and rise of the Roman Empire. After winning several wars, Julius Caesar became very popular and powerful.

When he was offered the crown by Mark Antony; he refused the crown. Some people were jealous of Caesar’s growing power and feared that he might become a dictator. Cassius hatches a conspiracy to murder Caesar. He wins over Brutus in this conspiracy because Brutus is the most trusted and respected in Rome. After the assassination of Caesar, one of his friends; Antony; succeeds in motivating people to raise a revolt against Cassius and Brutus.

Act 1 Scene 1

The first scene depicts the argument between Caesar and his wife Calpurnia. Calpurnia tries to stop Caesar from going to the senate because she is apprehensive of some mishap. She explains the bad omens which she saw in her dreams. In response, Caesar claims that a brave man should not be afraid of death because death is the ultimate truth. Calpurnia wants Mark Antony to convey the message that Caesar would not attend the meeting at senate and to give an excuse of Caesar’s sickness. Finally, Decius Brutus tries to convince Caesar by giving a different and positive interpretation of the dreams which Calpurnia had. Thus, Brutus is able to take Caesar alongwith him to the senate.

Act 2: Scene 1

Various courtiers and members of the senate sing paeans for Caesar. Caesar asks his fellows not to indulge in flattery. The discussion then veers on the banishment of Publius Cimber. Finally, all the men who are with Cassius take out their daggers and kill Caesar. When Brutus stabs Cesar then Caesar is astonished that even Brutus is against him.

After the assassination of Caesar, Cassius wants the message conveyed to the people of Rome that they have succeeded in ending the tyranny and in ensuring freedom for the people of Rome.

Mark Antony, a close associate of Caesar arrives on the scene. Cassius and his men convey to Antony that Caesar was murdered for the good of Rome. They also assure Antony his due share in power. But Antony insists on mourning for Caesar’s death. He gets permission for taking the body of Caesar so that he can organize a public mourning. It is also agreed that Cassius would speak to the public to convey the message of protection of Rome’s liberty as a reason for the assassination of Caesar. After that Antony could take his time to speak whatever he wishes to speak about Caesar.

Act 2: Scene 2

Antony gives a speech to highlight that Caesar was kind to the public and was not ambitious as was claimed by Cassius. By giving many examples; Antony is able to motivate the gathered mass of people. He also reads the will of Caesar which announces many freebies for the people. People then cremate the body of Caesar and begin the revolt against Cassius and Brutus.