- Julius Caesar
- Calpurnia: Wife of Caesar
- Octavius, Mark Antony, Lepidus: Triumvirs after the death of Julius Caesar
- Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena: Senators
- Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Trebonius, Ligarius, Decius Brutus,Metellus Cimber, Cinna: Conspirators against Julius Caesar
- Portia: Wife of Brutus
Marcus Brutus is Caesar's close friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to be cajoled into joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion—implanted by Caius Cassius—that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule.
The early scenes deal mainly with Brutus's arguments with Cassius and his struggle with his own conscience. The growing tide of public support soon turns Brutus against Caesar (this public support was actually faked; Cassius wrote letters to Brutus in different handwritings over the next month in order to get Brutus to join the conspiracy). A soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March", which he ignores, culminating in his assassination at the Capitol by the conspirators that day, despite being warned by the soothsayer and Artemidorus, one of Caesar's supporters at the entrance of the Capitol.
Caesar's assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play, occurring in Act 3 (the other is Marc Antony's oration "Friends, Romans, countrymen.") After ignoring the soothsayer as well as his wife's own premonitions, Caesar comes to the Senate. The conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber, pleading on behalf of his banished brother. As Caesar, predictably, rejects the petition, Casca grazes Caesar in the back of his neck, and the others follow in stabbing him; Brutus is last. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line "Et tu, Brute?" ("And you, Brutus?", i.e. "You too, Brutus?"). Shakespeare has him add, "Then fall, Caesar," suggesting that Caesar did not want to survive such treachery, therefore becoming a hero.
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 by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus's speech, yet there is method in his rhetorical speech and gestures: he reminds them of the good Caesar had done for Rome, his sympathy with the poor, and his refusal of the crown at the Lupercal, thus questioning Brutus' claim of Caesar's ambition; he shows Caesar's bloody, lifeless body to the crowd to have them shed tears and gain sympathy for their fallen hero; and he reads Caesar's will, in which every Roman citizen would receive 75 drachmas. Antony, even as he states his intentions against it, rouses the mob to drive the conspirators from Rome. Amid the violence, the innocent poet, Cinna, is confused with the conspiratorLucius Cinna and is murdered by the mob.
Although the title is Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only five scenes. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.
Et tu, Brute?
The quotation is widely used in Western culture to signify the utmost betrayal by an unexpected person, such as a friend.
Another common translation for the phrase is "You too, Brutus?". Literally, the Latin phrase translates to "And you, Brutus?". The name "Brutus
On March 15 (the Ides of March), 44 BC, Caesar was attacked by a group of senators, including Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar's close friend. Caesar initially resisted his attackers, but when he saw Brutus, he supposedly spoke those words and resigned himself to his fate.
Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators. Eventually, Brutus decided to move against Caesar after Caesar's king-like behavior prompted him to take action. His wife was the only woman privy to the plot.
The conspirators planned to carry out their plot on the Ides of March(March 15) that same year. On that day, Caesar was delayed going to the Senate because his wife, Calpurnia Pisonis, tried to convince him not to go. The conspirators feared the plot had been found out.Brutus persisted, however, waiting for Caesar at the Senate, and allegedly still chose to remain even when a messenger brought him news that would otherwise have caused him to leave.
When Caesar finally did come to the Senate, they attacked him. Publius Servilius Casca Longus was allegedly the first to attack Caesar with a blow to the shoulder, which Caesar blocked. However, upon seeing Brutus was with the conspirators, he covered his face with his toga and resigned himself to his fate. The conspirators attacked in such numbers that they even wounded one another. Brutus is said to have been wounded in the hand and in the legs.
After the assassination, the Senate passed an amnesty on the assassins. This amnesty was proposed by Caesar's friend and co-consul Marcus Antonius. Nonetheless, uproar among the population caused Brutus and the conspirators to leave Rome. Brutus settled in Crete from 44 to 42 BC.
Cassius Longinus (October 3rd, before 85 BC — October 3rd, 42 BC) was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar,and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus. Although Cassius was "the moving spirit" in the plot against Caesar, winning over the chief assassins to the cause of tyrannicide, Brutus became their leader. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Cassius urged on his fellow liberators and struck Caesar in the chest area. Though they succeeded in assassinating Caesar, the celebration was short-lived, as Mark Antony seized power and turned the public against them. In letters written during 44 BC, Cicero frequently complains that Rome was still subjected to tyranny, because the "Liberators" had failed to kill Antony. According to some accounts, Cassius had wanted to kill Antony at the same time as Caesar, but Brutus dissuaded him.
Despite his family being loyal to Caesar, with Casca's brother Gaius Servilius Casca even being a close friend of Caesar's, both siblings joined in the assassination. Casca struck the first blow, attacking Caesar from behind and hitting his neck, after Tillius Cimber had distracted the dictator by grabbing his toga. The other assassins then joined in.
Cimber was initially one of Caesar's strongest supporters. Caesar granted Cimber governorship of the provinces of Bithynia and Pontus in 44 BC. He may also have been Praetor in the same year. Cicero once used Cimber's influence on Caesar to help a friend.
It is not known why he joined the conspiracy, but Seneca states that he was motivated by ambition. His role was to initiate the attack, by petitioning Caesar to recall his exiled brother Publius. Plutarch states that other assassins pretended to add their own petitions to Cimber's. According to Suetonius, Caesar gestured him away, but Cimber grabbed hold of him by the shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"). At the same time, Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck, but hit his shoulder. The other assassins then joined in.
Caesar receives a warning. Cassius and Brutus discuss Caesar. Cassius devises a plan to sway Brutus.
Brutus fears that power will change Caesar. Brutus receives a letter. Cassius pays a visit to Brutus accompanied by men of a common goal.
Brutus makes a speech to the crowd explaining his actions. After Brutus departs, Antony gives the funeral oration for Caesar. Octavius' servant brings news to Antony.
Angered by the condemnation of a friend, Cassius arrives to speak with Brutus.
Brutus and Cassius' allegiance is tested. Brutus receives a message from Messala. As Cassius marches his troops into battle, Brutus is visited by an unexpected guest.
Brutus, perceiving a weakness in Octavius' army, sends a message to Cassius.
Cassius, believing Brutus has been captured, asks a favor of Pindarus. Brutus continues to fight Antony and Octavius.
Brutus prepares for another battle with Antony and Octavius. Antony sends men to verify whether Brutus is alive.
Brutus orders his men to retreat before asking a final favor of one of his soldiers. Upon discovering Brutus, Antony speaks of Brutus' virtues and makes a decision in regards to the fate of his men.