Plot synopsis


Shakespeare's great political thriller tells the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of his conspirators.

Julius Caesar has returned to Rome triumphant from the war against Pompey.

The Roman republic is prepared to heap him with new honours, causing concern and dismay among some senators who fear that too much power is held by one man.

Caius Cassius plots a conspiracy to murder Caesar, enlisting the support of the well-respected Marcus Brutus.

Brutus has misgivings but is persuaded that Caesar's death is necessary for the good of the republic.

However, he rejects Cassius' proposal that Mark Antony, close friend of Caesar, should also be killed. Brutus, Cassius and their co-conspirators stab Caesar to death at the senate house on the Ides of March.

At Caesar's funeral Brutus addresses the people and successfully explains the conspirators' motives.

However, Mark Antony speaks next and turns the mob against the conspirators, who are forced to flee from Rome.

Mark Antony and Caesar's nephew, Octavius, take command of Rome and lead an army against the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius are defeated at Philippi where they kill themselves rather than be captured.

Photo: Ray Fearon as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. Photo by Kwame Lestrade.

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Teaching Shakespeare