Comparing Tribunes And Julius Caesar

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Tribunes and Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar is a great play written by William Shakespeare based on the real-life historical

person, the Roman military tribune and dictator Julius Caesar. Caesar was “the all-powerful ruler

of Rome,” who lived from July 12, 100 B.C., until his assassination, which took place March 15,

44 B.C. (Getlen). Shakespeare wrote the play Julius Casear 1600 years later, in 1599.

In reading the play, the reader often comes across words and phrases that are unknown, both

because of the era in which the events took place and because of the era in which the play was

written. One of the words discovered in Act I that an average American high school student

might not use in a typical conversation is “tribune.” To understand the play, the reader needs to

know this word and more about what life and the political world was like during the time Caesar

was alive. Then the student needs to learn what a tribune did and what his role in society was.

After that, the student can come to understand why the tribunes in the play, Marullus and Flavius,

were worried about Caesar.

According to Merriam-Webster, a tribune is “a Roman official under the monarchy and the

republic with the function of protecting the plebeian citizen from arbitrary action by the patrician

magistrates” (Merriam-Webster). Another definition explains a tribune as “an officer or magistrate

chosen by the people to protect them from the oppression of the
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