Julius Caesar Summary

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Julius Caesar Summary How It All Goes Down When the play opens, Julius Caesar has just returned to Rome after defeating the sons of Pompey in battle. Before we go any further, let's pause for a brief Roman history lesson. Pompey (a.k.a. "Pompey the Great") was a member of the "first triumvirate," and he and Caesar used to share power over Rome. Then Caesar and Pompey got into a big fight. Pompey lost. When he tried to run away to Egypt in 48 B.C., he was assassinated. But Caesar still had a problem: Pompey's sons were determined to avenge their father's death and overthrow Caesar. So Caesar tracked down Pompey's sons in Spain and stomped them out at the Battle of Munda in 45 B.C. Now back to the play. As Caesar parades through the streets of Rome like a rock star, the higher-ups in Rome are nervous about his growing power and his popularity with the commoners, who have abandoned their work to celebrate Caesar's triumphant return. Caesar seems headed toward absolute power, which is a big no-no in the Roman Republic. Meanwhile, the festival of the Lupercal (a big party where people run around in goatskin g-strings in the middle of February) is in full swing. Caesar is chilling at the festival with his entourage when a soothsayer runs up and says "beware the Ides of March" (meaning, "hey, watch your back on March 15"). Caesar looks at the soothsayer and is all "whatever man." While Caesar parties with his fans, Brutus and Cassius huddle together and talk trash about him. Cassius is all bent out of shape because he thinks Caesar is running around acting like a king. Without coming right out and saying so directly, Cassius (who has been plotting against Caesar with a group of conspirators) suggests that maybe Brutus should lead Rome. Brutus says he gets what Cassius is saying, but he is also good friends with Caesar, so he needs a little time to think about

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