Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Vs. Plutarch’s Julius Caesar

1549 Words Jan 3rd, 2002 7 Pages
"He doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus"�(Julius Caesar 1.2.142-43).

These words were spoken by Cassius, a character in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

He is speaking about Julius Caesar and Caesar's arrogance and overconfidence. This quote also shows how Shakespeare perceived Julius Caesar as a prominent and influential man of his time. However, this view is not shared by all of the biographers that chose to write about Julius Caesar. In fact a famous ancient writer named Plutarch depicted Julius Caesar as a power-hungry and arrogant man in his biography The Life of Caesar. Plutarch was one of the world's first modern biographers and his work is still used today. Even Shakespeare used him as a historical reference in his
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On the other hand, in Plutarch's The Life of Caesar Caesar receives word that his friend, Brutus, is leading a group that is plotting to kill him. "And once, when the conspiracy was already formed and some people were actually accusing Brutus to Caesar of being involved in it, Caesar laid his hand on his body and said to the accusers: "˜Brutus will wait for this skin of mine'"�(The Life of Caesar 233). What Caesar meant was that he knew Brutus would never do such a thing because he was not "˜base and ungrateful.' So once again Caesar shrugs of the warning and this is his fatal mistake.

The major difference between these two biographies is the different versions of Caesar's assassination. In Shakespeare's play Caesar's assassination is described in a total of 2 lines. ""˜ Speak, hands, for me!'/ [As Casca strikes, the others rise up and stab Caesar.]/ "˜Et tu, Brute?""Then fall, Caesar.'/ [He dies]"�(Julius Caesar 3.1.84-85).

Shakespeare makes Caesar seem to die nobly with time to utter a few famous last words.

Whereas Plutarch's version of Caesar's death goes into more detail. In this version, Caesar grabbed Casca's dagger when Casca stabbed him in the neck and said, ""˜ Casca, you villain, what are you doing?'"�(The Life of Caesar 236). Caesar was then surrounded by the conspirators and "was driven this way and that, and like a wild beast in the toils, had to suffer from the hands of each one of them"¦"�(The Life
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